Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Employment Among Oregonians with Disabilities

On July 26, the United States celebrates the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, education, transportation, state and local government services, public accommodations, telecommunications and commercial facilities.

In 2014, there were about 600,000 Oregonians with disabilities according to American Community Survey. Older people are more likely to have a disability. In Oregon, 38 percent of individuals over 65 have a disability. About 13 percent of individuals between 18 to 64 years reported to have a disability and about 7 percent of population ages 5 to 17 years have a disability. Men and women have about the same rates of reporting a disability.

In 2014, the unemployment rate for working-age people with disabilities was 16 percent compared with 7.8 percent for the state's overall population. Among population ages 18 to 64 years, about 115,000 people with disabilities were employed and 22,200 were unemployed. About 179,000 were not in the labor force. Earnings for people with disabilities are lower than for those with no disability. In 2014, men and women with disabilities had median earnings of $22,172 and $15,664, respectively, while men and women with no disability had earnings of $33,178 and $23,772, respectively.

Gateways to Employment

Several Oregon businesses offer specialized training and job coaching services to people with disabilities. Besides helping disabled workers find and keep jobs, these services can reduce company costs associated with new hires.

To find out more about the benefits of hiring workers with disabilities, visit:
For assistance in hiring people with disabilities, visit the Employer Services website of the Oregon Department of Human Services' Office of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services and Services for Employers website of the Oregon Commission for the Blind.

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