Employment & Income Status Of Adults With Developmental Disabilities

When determining the percentage of disabled people employed, the data for the same is hard to come by for different countries. The situation is different for different locations; however, we can know the average of a few figures to have more clarity on employment and disability. Know that people who have disabilities face the same predicament everywhere. 

Speaking from a global perspective, we discuss a few things about disability and unemployment in our article today. Based on the type of location we consider, the employment rate will differ, and any percentage or figure stated needs to be completely correct. 

What Percentage Of Adults With Intellectual Disabilities Are Employed?

A survey was held to figure out the unemployment rate among people suffering from intellectual disabilities. You will be surprised when you hear that the rate is more than twice as much as it is for the general population. The employment-population ratio, for people who are disabled is to the employed ones, has certainly increased from what it was. People suffering from disabilities are often not employed because of their shortcomings. 

The percentage stands at around 19.1% overall. The same, however, varies as per the country you consider. In developing countries, the rate of unemployment of the disabled is very high and stands at almost 80-90%. That is a whopping amount. This population is only considering people of working age. In industrialized countries, the rate is slightly lower and ranges from 50-70%. 

Industries offer some or other kind of work for people with certain disabilities. However, they are not able to employ all of them. In developing countries, the unemployment rate among people of working age is almost twice as compared to the people who are perfectly fine. 

Why Is There An Employment Gap For People With Disabilities? 

People with disabilities are often considered as someone who will not be able to do anything. They are over-represented and given lower wages for the work done. The under-represented roles include customer service, sales, leisure, or care. Moreover, at times it is not about the disabled people themselves, but instead, some outside factors that hold them back from reaching their full potential. 

Also, the support system is poorly designed for disabled people, which is why they don't get many employment opportunities. For the working to get the apt payment, enjoying the benefits will also be much easier to sustain. 

What Are The Biggest Barriers That People With Disabilities Face?

One of the foundational barriers is people's perception of what it is like to live with a disability. However, the biggest barriers are not always obvious, specifically for able people. Communication is another major barrier that specially-abled people face. They may have difficulties in reading, writing, understanding, and speaking. 

In addition to it, they experience physical barriers as well that include structures or objects that prevent access to certain things and also their mobility. Furthermore, people with disabilities are less likely to find high-paying jobs or even complete their studies easily. Also, they are at a high risk of experiencing family violence. Such barriers are usually detrimental to the disabled themselves, creating hurdles for them that prevent their growth, happiness, and earning potential. 

What Are Two Problems For People With Disabilities Related To Employment? 

As already stated, professional lives for people with disabilities are not easy. Only a few out there manage to get a high-paying job or great success in their lives. Some of the major challenges faced by disabled people include the following; 

  • Employers are still determining whether they will be able to carry out the assigned tasks. Are they capable enough of handling the responsibilities given to them? Employers often let go of some of the exemplary employees as well just because of their disability and their doubt about their talent. 
  • Lack of education is one of the major challenges that disabled people face. Undoubtedly, not getting enough education is a major challenge for all, whether disabled or not. At times, certain circumstances force people to stay uneducated for their entire life, which is why they find it difficult to get a stable job. 


Not only in the professional realm, but disabled people also have to go through a lot of challenges in their personal life as well. They have a tough time securing employment initially and then keeping it for long. At times they are also found being mistreated at their workplace or looked down upon by people and never relied upon.