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According to Paul Wehman at Virginia Commonwealth University, students with disabilities who are most likely to have jobs and live independently have these characteristics: High school graduation, highly educated family, no physical impairments, male gender, social integration, no behavior problems, two parent household.

According to census data from the US Department of Education, of all special education students, 44.8% graduate with a diploma, 12.4% graduate with a certificate, 27% drop out of school, 2.5% "age out" (reach the maximum age), and 13.3% have an unknown status.

According to 1990 census data from the U.S. Department of Commerce, about 61% of working-age adults with disabilities (ages 16-64), are unemployed.