More people with disabilities are getting jobs. Here's why.
BY Julia Horowitz
February 19, 2018

The 36-year-old is one of 14 people in the professional services firm's "neurodiversity" program, which hires people on the autism spectrum to work on its accounting and analytics projects.

Over the next three years, Ernst & Young plans to brings dozens more people like Morris on board.

"We need the talent wherever we can get it. Whichever way it's packaged. There is a shortage, particularly in our skills areas," said Lori Golden, who is leading the charge at EY to hire more people with disabilities.

It's not just Ernst & Young. With unemployment at a low 4.1%, fewer people are looking for jobs. As a result, many employers are having a hard time finding people qualified to fill the positions they have open.

That's left an opening for people with disabilities, a group that's broadly defined under the Americans With Disabilities Act. In addition to individuals with physical disabilities such as blindness, it also includes people who are struggling with addiction or have epilepsy, to name a few examples.

This demographic has always been underemployed. But Americans with disabilities have posted year-over-year gains in the job market for the past 21 consecutive months, according to an analysis by the Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire.

"This is indicative of the economy reaching full employment, and employers reaching out to groups that they traditionally don't reach out to," said Andrew Houtenville, research director of the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability.


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