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CPD finishes series on employment of people with disabilities in Utah

JoLynne Lyon

06/26/2019

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crepery storefront
People with disabilities work in many Utah businesses, including
The Crepery in Logan.

The Center for Persons with Disabilities teamed up with Utah Public Radio to do stories about employment of people with disabilities in Utah, as part of UPR’s year-long Diagnosed project. This uncovered some bad news (nationwide, the unemployment rate of people with disabilities is twice that of the general population) and some encouraging news (Utah ranks third in the nation for employing people with disabilities).

Here is a list of the stories in the project. Click on the heading to see or hear the full story.

High tech, low tech, no tech: Accommodations at work

In today’s booming economy, more and more employers are facing a shortage of workers; one that they might fill by reaching out to people with disabilities. But what about the cost of accommodations for workers with disabilities?

This story examines some misconceptions about the cost of employing a non-typical worker, whether they need high-tech, low-tech or no-tech solutions.

Employing people with disabilities

It’s true the employment rate has risen, for both people with and without disabilities. Still, the employment gap—that’s the difference in employment rates between typical employees and those with disabilities—is still wider than it was in 2008, when the Great Recession began, according to a study from the University of New Hampshire.

Where does Utah fit in all of this? We rank third in the nation for employment rates among people with disabilities, according to the same study.  Today, as part of the UPR original series Diagnosed, we speak to an employer and a service provider. They have different jobs, but they both want employees with disabilities to thrive—and the companies that hire them to succeed, too.

Transitioning to the adult world for people with disabilities

High schools and universities around the state are gearing up for graduation. For some, leaving school means entering the adult world. But for people with disabilities, an independent life is less certain. Eight in 10 people with disabilities are not in the labor force, compared with three in 10 among people without a disability. 

As part of the UPR Original Series Diagnosed, we talkwith Utahns who struggled to make that transition—and they are seeing success.

Getting along at work

The unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 8 percent in 2018: more than twice the rate for the general population, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And getting a job is only the first step: staying employed is also a challenge. 

UPR's JoLynne Lyon speaks to an employer, an educator and a person with autism to find out more about how some workers with disabilities found the supports they need to stay employed.

Work and benefits: considerations for people with disabilities in the workforce

Over the past five years, many Utah universities launched programs aimed at preparing young people with disabilities to enter the workforce. Some examples are Aggies Elevated at Utah State University and the Utah Neurodiversity Workforce Program, which began at the University of Utah. But while many people without disabilities look to work as a way to gain health insurance benefits, some workers with disabilities worry they may lose health insurance coverage if they start work, or go back to it.

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