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Noon Edition

More job opportunities are opening for people with disabilities 

A 'Now Hiring' sign hangs outside the Village Deli restaurant in Bloomington.

(Devan Ridgway/WTIU)

Noon Edition airs on Fridays at noon on WFIU.

The Covid-19 pandemic shut down offices and sent everyone across the U.S. to work from home. While for some this was a challenging transition, it opened the door for new opportunities for people with disabilities.   

The New York Times last October cited studies showing that hiring rates among people with disabilities have risen since the start of the pandemic. Obstacles that made it difficult for a person with a disability to get a job became less of a challenge with the option of working remotely.   

According to the Office of Disability Employment Policy in the U.S. Department of Labor, the labor force participation rate for people 16 to 64 with disabilities has risen from just over 35 percent at the end of 2021 to 39 percent in December of 2022. Also notable from this study is the disability unemployment rate, which decreased by half – 10.8 percent to 5.4 percent – from the end of 2021 to December of 2022 for people ages 16 to 64.   

Despite these encouraging statistics, many challenges and difficulties remain for people with disabilities to get hired. The study shows 2022 labor force participation rates for people with no disability from ages 20 to 24 was just over 72 percent compared to 50 percent for people in that age group with disabilities. The 2022 unemployment rate for this age range was also a concern as people with no disabilities had a rate at just below 7 percent while people with a disability had a rate at 14.5 percent.  

On Noon Edition Friday we will talk with experts about disability hiring rates, new opportunities for people with disabilities, and more.   

You can follow us on Twitter at @NoonEdition or join us on the air by calling 812-855-0811 or toll-free at 1-877-285-9348. You can also send questions for the show at  


Kristy Russell - Manager, Adult and Youth Employment Services for Bosma Navigating Blindness

Dr. Judith Gross (Ph.D.) – Associate Research Scientist at IU and the Director of the Center on Community Living and Careers for IU

Dr. Derek Nord (Ph.D., FAAIDD) – Director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) and Professor in Curriculum and Instruction, Special Education program for IU

Dr. David Mank (Ph.D.) – Professor Emeritus for IU & Part Time Senior Advisor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the US Dept. of Labor


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