Click here to close now.


News Feed Item

Unemployment of People with Intellectual Disabilities More than Twice as High as General Population

Special Olympics Commissions National Study Giving Glimpses into People with ID in the Workplace

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new survey shows that unemployment among people with intellectual disabilities is more than twice as high as for the general population. That's according to one of the most comprehensive national surveys ever done on adults with disabilities in the workforce. The "National Snapshot of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in the Labor Force" was commissioned by Special Olympics, conducted by the Center for Social Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston and administered by Gallup.[1]   

The survey looked at both the labor force participation rate (the percentage of working-age people who are either employed, or unemployed but looking for a job) and the unemployment rate, for 2011 to 2012. During this period, the labor force participation rate for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) was about one-half of the general population's:  44 percent versus 83 percent, indicating that more than half of people with ID have dropped out of or were never in the workforce. The unemployment rate for people with ID was more than twice as high as the general population's at the time of the study: 21 percent versus 9 percent. Further darkening the employment picture is that most people with ID work part-time and many for less than the minimum wage.

"This study paints a bleak picture of the employment situation for adults with intellectual disabilities, revealing a troublingly low employment rate," said Janet Froetscher, CEO of Special Olympics.  "We will continue to commit ourselves to identifying the critical factors to improve employment and lives generally for people with ID."

A study analyzing the survey results, titled "National Snapshot of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in the Labor Force," appears in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

The Gallup organization telephonically screened 341,000 Americans over two years and identified over 1,000 parents or guardians of adult children with an intellectual disability who agreed to participate in the survey. Key findings include:

  • Nationally, 34% of people with intellectual disabilities are employed. (Previous research conducted on behalf of Special Olympics has shown that 52% of adults who participate in Special Olympics are employed.)
  • Of employed people with intellectual disabilities, 53% are employed competitively (i.e., work alongside people without disabilities at a market-driven wage); 38% in a sheltered workshop (work centers specifically for people with disabilities), and 9% in other settings (e.g., are self-employed).
  • Of those competitively employed, 28% work in customer service; 17% in retail; 16% in food service; 9% in offices; 8% in manufacturing, and 22% in other sectors such as childcare and landscaping.
  • Of the adults with ID employed in a competitive setting, over half (62%) have been at their job for three years or more.
  • However, only 26% of employed adults with ID have full-time jobs. Only a third were offered health insurance by their employer.

The "National Snapshot of Adults with Intellectual Disabilities in the Labor Force" is the first of three studies to be released in the next six months by Special Olympics focusing on the employment of persons with intellectual disabilities. Although the results of the first study are worrisome, the study breaks new ground with the first- ever nationally-representative data set on the employment situation for adults with ID and lays the foundation for efforts to ensure that this population can find meaningful jobs.

"A meaningful job is important to most of us, and people with intellectual disabilities are no different," said Dr. Gary Siperstein, Director of the Center for Social Development and Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston and the lead researcher of the study. "Government has invested millions of dollars in better outcomes for adults with ID as they transition out of high school and into the labor force. Unfortunately, this study shows that we haven't done enough. But a bright spot is that the survey shows that those who are employed have job stability regardless of where they work and what type of job they have. With this study and the two that will follow, we can better tailor efforts to bring adults with ID into the labor force and provide them good jobs."

About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver training and competition opportunities in 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 events throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at Engage with us on: Twitter@specialolympics;;, and

[1] Research Cooperative Agreement to Promote the Health of People with Intellectual Disabilities
Cooperative Agreement/Grant Number: U01 DD000302-05
**Please note that the views represented are those of the authors and not the USCDC.

SOURCE Special Olympics

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
The revocation of Safe Harbor has radically affected data sovereignty strategy in the cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Jeff Miller, Product Management at Cavirin Systems, discussed how to assess these changes across your own cloud strategy, and how you can mitigate risks previously covered under the agreement.
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a global leader in monitoring, and testing the performance of online applications, has been named "Silver Sponsor" of DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016 at the Javits Center in New York City. Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.Founde...
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
"eFolder does a lot of different things but we protect data and we are focused on protecting data no matter where it resides," explained Carlo Tapia, Product Marketing Manager at eFolder, in this interview at Cloud Expo, held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Cloud computing is unquestionably one of the driving forces of DevOps, as the automation of operations transforms enterprise software development. DevOps, however, is more than a technology trend, as it represents a move toward silo-busting, self-organizing horizontal teams that drive business velocity. At the same time, enterprise Digital Transformation represents an upheaval across the enterprise, as customer preferences and behavior drive enterprise technology decisions. This transformation ...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment proces...
In demand-intensive mobile and web applications, an emerging pattern is to host the Systems of Engagement in the cloud (for maximum responsiveness) but keep the Systems of Record with the other important business systems in the company datacenter, often on a tightly secured mainframe. But what about the space in between? In this IBM Redpaper publication, we show that the IBM Bluemix cloud platform offers technologies that make it easy for cloud-based SoEs to securely connect to on-premises IBM...
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Su...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).