What about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Employers are barred from discriminating against people with disabilities, so they have as good a chance of being hired as an able-bodied person.

We have not found one study that demonstrates the ADA has significantly improved the employment of people with disabilities.

Recent studies show that the ADA is not working, because employers have fears about hiring people with disabilities. These include:

  • Fear of costs associated with hiring
  • Fear of the disabled worker needing additional supervision, resulting in lower productivity on the job
  • Fear of being stuck with the disabled person indefinitely
  • Fear of having “damaged goods”

A recent article published in Law & Policy by Michelle Maroto and David Pettinicchio takes a macrocosmic look at the effects of the ADA on employment of people with disabilities since its inception. They discovered the following statistics:

“When Senators Weicker and Larkin first introduced the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1988, only 30 percent of people with disabilities in the United States were employed . . . In 2008, employment was at 23 percent. By 2012, twenty years after the ADA took effect, just 18 percent of working age people with disabilities were employed, compared to 64 percent of people without disabilities.”

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