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Chartbook on Work and Disability

Section 2: Work Disability and the Labor Force

2.9. How many working-age people with disabilities say they would like to work?

In 1986 and 1994, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) commissioned Louis Harris and Associates to conduct polls on the attitudes and experiences of Americans with disabilities. In those polls, an overwhelming majority of working-age people with disabilities who were not working indicated that they wanted to work.

The number of people with disabilities between 16 and 64 years were not working but wanted to work increased from 66% to 79% between 1986 and 1994. In the age group between 16 and 44 years, 84% of those not working said that they want to work.

More than three-quarters of working-age people with disabilities who are not currently working would like to work.

Bar graph showing the percentage of working age people with disabilities who are not currently working and who would like to work, in 1986 and 1994.

Figure 13: Percentage of non-working people with a disability who indicate that they want to work, 1986 and 1994, 16-64 years

Source: National Organization on Disability, (1994a, 1994b).

Surveys: Louis Harris & Associates, 1986, 1994, commissioned by National Organization on Disability.

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