Beyond the ADA: Addressing Barriers to Employment for Persons with Disabilities

Beyond the ADA

Please note: The issue of person-first or identity-first language in disabled communities is a complex one. Whereas some persons with disabilities prefer to have their personhood highlighted, other disabled people see their disability as an integral part of their lives and want to remove the stigma associated with words such as disabled or autistic by putting them front and center in their personal identification. Person-first and identity-first language will be used interchangeably in this article to respect the perspectives of both sides. 


The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. This sweeping legislation was designed to provide protections for disabled persons including greater accessibility to employment. 30 years later, unemployment rates for disabled persons remain high as barriers to these marginalized people entering the workforce remain substantial.

The irony, of course, is that employers are leaving a huge pool of talent untapped, talent whose d...

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