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Home Issues Employment

Our Position

EmploymentODEPPeople with disabilities can, and do, work in all areas of the American workforce. They thrive when they fully participate in their communities, and in turn, the nation thrives.  However, statistics show that many people with disabilities remain unemployed or under-employed.  In addition, thousands of people with disabilities are being paid less than the minimum wage and/or work in isolation and segregation in programs which lead them nowhere.  

The Client Assistance Program (CAP) and other Protection and Advocacy programs are working at the state and local level to change these outcomes.  The National Disability Rights Network is advocating at the federal level with Congress and the Administration to make changes in laws, regulations, policies and practices to further the ability of people with disabilities to be employed in integrated environments at competitive wages.

Taking Action

Contact the Members of the Senate Finance Committee to protect The Benefits of People with Disabilities!

The Senate Finance Committee is currently considering a proposal to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, but eliminating or reducing concurrent Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to pay for this replenishment. These extremely modest benefits can be a lifeline to workers with disabilities who receive them, and their families – and as permitted by law are not fraud or improper payments.

Senators on the Senate Finance Committee need to hear from you to not unfairly target people with disabilities to pay for the highway trust fund. Please use the following letter template (attached above to create link) to contact the Senators on the Senate Finance Committee from your state. Senators from the following states are on the Senate Finance Committee: Delaware, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming. Use the following link to get the addresses to the Senators on the Senate Finance Committee (Create link with the address page attached as the destination).

Time is of the essence so go here ( to find the e-mail form to each Senator. If you do not have a Senator on the Senate Finance Committee, this issue has come up in other contexts so educating all Senators on the problems of this proposal would be very helpful.

henrys-turkey-houseSegregated and Exploited. In reports released in 2011 and 2012, NDRN found a total failure of the disability service system to provide quality work for people with disabilities.  The reports blast segregated work, sheltered environments and low wages for people with disabilities and highlight a massive breakdown between good federal and state policies and their implementation and oversight.  Read NDRN's scathing reports: Segregated and Exploited (2011) and Beyond Segregated and Exploited (2012).

Employment_Challenging_PerceptionEver hear someone say "People with disabilities can't compete in the job market" or "Some people are just too disabled to work."  We hear it all the time and, frankly, we're getting kind of tired of it.  Here are some answers to many of the common myths people believe about employment of people with disabilities.  Help us set the record straight!


NDRN recently submitted statements in support of competitive integrated employment for two hearings regarding employment of people with disabilities.

Read the House testimony
Read the Senate testimony

NDRN WIOA Committee Comments - July 13, 2015

NDRN Letter of Support to WIOA Committee - June 2015

NDRN Comments to WIOA Regulations -- Misc Section - CAP

NDRN Comments to WIOA Regulations -- State VR Program

NDRN sent a letter in support S. 2001, the TIME Act, to Senator Ayotte of New Hampshire - August 10, 2015

Know Your Rights

A variety of federal and state laws exist to protect people with disabilities from discrimination in employment.  Check out NDRN's Employment Discrimination Law page.

Think the minimum wage applies to everyone?  Think again. Learn how wage and hour laws leave people with disabilities behind.

The ADA and other laws protect people who need to take leave because of a medical condition.  Learn more about medical leave.


Additional information about the employment of people with disabilities can be found at the following sites. 

Get Help

You can call your P&A about employment when:

  • You want to know what help is available to get or keep a job.
  • You want to know what will happen to your benefits if you go to work.
  • You have transportation problems getting to and from work.
  • You believe you were not hired or given a different job because of your disability.
  • You were not given the help you needed to do your job.
  • You think people at your job are not treating you fairly because of your disability.

See a larger list of reasons to call your P&A or CAP here.

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