Publication Date


Document Type


Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Special and Early Education


As a special educator, it is one’s goal to ensure that students are as successful after high school as possible. This means that teachers are responsible for making sure their students have appropriate social, functional, and daily living skills by the time they graduate, as well as a plan for what each will do once they are out of high school. One of the main concerns of special education teachers is whether or not students with disabilities will become employed after they graduate. Unfortunately, people with disabilities have the lowest employment rate out of every minority group in the United States (Lavin, Owens, Neimiec, 2009). According to the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics Labor Force Characteristics Summary (2012), only 17.8% of people with a disability were employed last year, in contrast to the 63.9% of people without a disability. Of that 17.8%, most employees commonly work only part time, due to difficulty with finding a full time job. People with disabilities are also more likely to work in production, transportation, and materials moving, rather than management or professional occupations. The question is, why? Are companies simply discriminating against these individuals? Are people with disabilities unable to find jobs due to a lack of resources? Or are they simply just not trying hard enough to get hired? Determining why the employment of individuals with disabilities is so low is often difficult to pinpoint. There are many variables that affect the low level of employment of individuals with disabilities. For example, 46 percent of people with disabilities are over the age of 65, and very few people over the age of 65 are employed, even if they do not have a disability (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). In order to determine whether the cause of the low employment rate of people with disabilities is attributed to age, attitudes of employers, or any other cause, each potential cause must be closely examined.


Includes bibliographical references.


13 unnumbered pages




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