Thank you for this opportunity to discuss gender and disability issues and
to get to know others pursuing a similar interest. At the Institute for
Community Inclusion, our focus in this subject area has been on women with
disabilities and their employment or their transition from college to work.
Our concern is that the employment outcomes of all people with disabilities
is extremely low: low wages, low labor force participation, low
participation in post secondary education. We hope that the investments
made in the last decade for youth with disabilities currently in elementary
and secondary education lead to improvements in employment outcomes.
However, we remain concerned. Certain segments of the disability population
have exceedingly lower employment outcomes than others:
1) People with cognitive disabilities
2) People with psychiatric disabilities
3) Women with disabilities in general
4) Women with disabilities in the welfare system (usually with psych,
learning, or chronic health conditions)
5) People with disabilities who are African American, Latino, and
We have about 50 research, training, and demonstration projects at the ICI
most of which are national in scope and deal with employment and education
issues. Two of these studies are specific to women with disabilities. What
we would like to see happen:
1) A connection between educational outcomes and employment outcomes. What
is the relationship between early educational services (elementary and post
secondary) and adult employment for people with disabilities?
2) An Increase in vocational choices for all and in particular for students
with disabilities and those in the above mentioned groups.
3) An analysis of Trends over time:
a) Are adult employment outcomes and educational outcomes for women with
disabilities improving at the same rate as for women without disabilities,
and the population in general (pardon the grammar, please).
b) Do integrated or universal learning approaches improve adult employment
outcomes for youth with disabilities, women with disabilities receiving
welfare, and college students with disabilities?
4) What is the connection between educational opportunities and workforce
needs? How do we prepare youth with disabilities to meet the technological
advances and the rapidly changing environment in the workplace?
We look forward to a continued dialogue and thank the members, the
panelists, and Hilandia Neuta-Rendon and others at the EDC for the
Contact for more information:
Susan Foley, PhD
Institute for Community Inclusion
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02115
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