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The multiple barriers to employment of adults with disabilities include:

  • Fragmentation of existing employment services
  • Isolation and segregation from mainstream programs and services
  • Lack of access to health insurance
  • Complexity of existing work incentives
  • Lack of control and choice in selection of providers
  • Attitudinal barriers based on historical and erroneous stereotypes.
Individuals working in the community
Photo courtesy Sherie Wallace

The following actions were outlined by the United States Department of Health and Human Services:

The Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) will:

  • Initiate an Olmstead Community Employment Initiative, a strategy to ensure that all DOL policies and activities fully address the employment and training needs of people with disabilities who are at risk of institutionalization, or who are transitioning from institutions into the workplace and the community.
  • Award Olmstead Community Employment Planning and Implementation Grants to states that develop an employment focus for people with disabilities in their Olmstead state implementation plans=
  • Develop training and technical assistance on increasing earnings and customized employment for individuals with significant disabilities earning commensurate wages under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
  • Work with other agencies on activities that promote the transition of young people with disabilities from school to post-secondary opportunities and/or employment.
  • Expand self-employment and other entrepreneurial opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Work with other agencies to increase One-Stop Career Center employment services for people with psychiatric disabilities.
  • Propose options for increasing the availability of personal assistants for people with disabilities and provide some path of career progression for personal assistants and other direct care staff.
  • In collaboration with DOL's Women's Bureau, provide outreach to women with disabilities who are interested in self-employment.
Individual working in the community
Photo courtesy Sherie Wallace
Individual working in the community
Photo courtesy Sherie Wallace
Individual working in the community
Photo courtesy Sherie Wallace