Making a more inclusive future of work.

We define the future of work as the intersection of social, legislative, economic and technological forces shaping the labor market. People with disabilities have largely been left out of the dialogue which could worsen long-term trends in access to employment.

In response, we developed a human-centered design project with over 100 contributors.

Findings & Results

The result is a systems-based examination of the current disability employment landscape and how the interconnected behaviors of groups contribute along with recommendations for future change.


Stigma & Low Expectations

Stigma & Low Expectations

Unless there is fundamental change in the value society places on people with disabilities, progress is unlikely. Contributing factors include:

  • Disclosure of disabilities may lead to discrimination, whereas nondisclosure may lead to limited or no access to accommodations.
  • The onus is on people with disabilities to disclose their disability, further aligning them with an undervalued societal identity.
  • Media depictions of sympathetic characters or heroes overcoming adversity overshadow the fact that disability is a normal part of the human condition.
Poverty & Isolation

Poverty & Isolation

People with disabilities experience a rate of poverty averaging 15 percent higher than their nondisabled peers. Contributing factors include:

  • Competing goals among advocates for inclusion may result in confusion and inaction by policymakers.
  • Policies often unintentionally benefit some groups at the expense of others.
  • Family members and caregivers can contribute to a culture of dependence based on fear of change.
  • Benefits systems designed to help people escape poverty discourage people with disabilities from seeking gainful employment.
Un- and Underemployment

Un- and Underemployment

Millions of people with disabilities are completely disconnected from the labor market and are not represented by statistics reported by media outlets. Contributing factors include

  • Educational resources that are disproportionately skewed toward those without disabilities.
  • Many people with disabilities lack the skills and credentials demanded by employers due to issues related to accessibility and affordability.
  • People with disabilities are often screened out of job-matching algorithms. Stigma and low expectations limit investment in the employability of people with disabilities.
  • There is a negative perception around accommodations for inclusive workplaces and a gap between accessibility and usability.

Our Recommendations Include:

Improve Disability Data Clarity & Collaboration
Create AI Modeling of Impacts of Policy & Regulatory Changes
Improve IEP and Vocational Rehabilitation Plans
Implement Non-Income Based Long-Term Support Services
Enhance Telework Presence in Remote Work
Inclusive Future of Work brochure

Download the Report

This report is meant to serve as a foundation for improving access to meaningful and sustainable careers for people with disabilities.

In this report you’ll find:

  • A systems-based approach to an inclusive future of work.
  • A deeper understanding of the inhibiting factors people with disabilities face.
  • Recommendations for social change.