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Improving Job Quality: What You Can Do

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As a professional working to improve job quality for people with disabilities, you may wonder what you can do to increase the likelihood that the people you serve are as likely to have good jobs as workers with no disability.

Agreed-upon metrics tell us that good jobs pay above-average wages, offer health insurance, and give retirement benefit options. Recent research (Brucker & Henley, 2019) gives clear guidance on what you can do to increase the likelihood that people with disability have opportunities to achieve a good job:

  • Partner with employers to institute workplace health programs—including innovative disability management— to attract and retain qualified people with disabilities.
  • Increase post-secondary education opportunities for people with disabilities through partnerships with schools, colleges, and community services.
  • Advocate for in-school supports for people with disabilities to acclimate them to working environments and work skills.
  • Encourage employer partners to attract and keep good employees by providing above average rates of pay, health insurance, and retirement savings programs.

Brucker and Henley’s research revealed more information that could be helpful when working with someone to achieve a quality job goal:

  • Health status was a more significant indicator of a person's ability to get and keep a good job than disability.
  • The higher a person's educational level, the more likely they were to have a good job.
  • Full-time jobs were more than four times more likely to meet the good job criteria than part-time jobs.
  • People with disabilities were found to be significantly more likely to work part time than peers without disabilities.
  • People with disabilities who worked full-time had a 15% lower chance of holding a good job than workers without disabilities.

Fortunately, resources are available to support you as you continue to work toward improving quality employment outcomes for people with disabilities. For additional resources and research summaries, visit Project E3: Educate Empower Employ.

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