People with Disabilities More Negatively Affected by Economic Impact of COVID-19

Global Disability Inclusion

A Global Disability Inclusion survey of over 500 participants on April 13, 2020 reveals that people with disabilities are being impacted by COVID-19 at a higher rate than those without a disability.

51% of people with a disability have either lost their jobs, been laid off or furloughed, or believe they will lose their job in the next 90 days compared to 28% of those without a disability.

“The survey data demonstrates people with disabilities, who are often already on the fringes of competitive employment, are some of the first groups impacted as companies shuffle their workforce to reduce hours, and lay off employees due to the economic shutdown,” said Meg O’Connell, CEO & Founder of Global Disability Inclusion. “Companies are faced with unprecedented changes to their work environments and many are struggling to keep operations going. Unfortunately, this negatively impacts many employees with a disability.”

People with disabilities are more than 2x as likely as those without disabilities to think they will need to find a new job outside of their current industry in the next few months.

Q: I believe I will need to find a new job outside of my current industry within the next few months.

“As COVID-19 shifts the way we work, it has also shifted the businesses and industries that will lead us out of this economic crisis.  This presents new opportunities for both those with a disability and the companies looking for employees who can adapt to new environments,” said Ms. O’Connell.

“As we continue to adjust to our new business environments,” she added, “and the world of work shifts to become more remote, it will be important for companies to understand the impact and the opportunity of continuing to leverage a workforce that is diverse and includes the largest diversity segment, individuals with disabilities.”

Global Disability Inclusion conducted a national independent survey of over 500 participants in order to measure the impact and outlook of COVID-19 on those with and without disabilities. The survey was conducted the week of 04/13/2020 via SurveyMonkey. Respondents were recruited via the Global Disability Inclusion Newsletter Subscriber list as well as randomly selected participants between 18-64 years old via the SurveyMonkey Audience service.

Global Disability Inclusion, LLC is a boutique consulting firm providing disability inclusion strategies for global companies, foundations, non-profits, and universities. Global Disability Inclusion helps organizations realize the business benefits of including people with disabilities in the workplace, the workforce and the marketplace.

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