Disabled people around the world struggle to find work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 19.1% of those with disabilities worked in the United States in 2021. This is a slight increase from 17.9% in 2020. This doesn’t just happen in the United States. In the UK, for example, Labour Force Survey data revealed that disabled people were over a third less likely to be employed than non-disabled people. The UK had an employment rate for disabled people (aged 16 to 64 years) of 53.2% in 2019, compared with 81.8% for non-disabled people.
I’m 22-years old, and unemployed currently. I have been searching for a job since 2019. The pandemic has made this even more challenging. People aren’t worthless if they can’t work or struggle to find work because of a disability. It just means that their contributions to society are more than financial. I am currently working with my local MassHire Career Center to try and find a job. I want to be able to work, but I also need to keep Medicaid. In the meantime the career center will help me with networking and other career search tasks. My family and friends have also been helping me find different opportunities.
In the summer of last year, I decided to start blogging about my disability. One day I hope to turn writing or blogging into a career. Blogging has allowed me to share my thoughts with people worldwide. Writing is a solitary endeavor, but by sharing my work, I am providing the entire world with a new perspective. Through my blog and social media profiles, I have connected with people with various disabilities. On social media sites, I realized that I am not alone in this world. Having grown up around very few disabled people, it was comforting knowing that there are many other disabled people out there.
You don’t have to feel bad if you can’t work because of a disability. When someone tells you that you should be “doing something,” remind them that you are doing the best you can with what you have, and most importantly, that you are patient. After all, we’re only human. We can all only do so much. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.
Putz, Catherine. “Disability and Employment, UK: 2019.” Disability and Employment, UK – Office for National Statistics, Office for National Statistics, 2 Dec. 2019, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/disability/bulletins/disabilityandemploymentuk/2019#employment-by-disability.
Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics Summary – 2021.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 Feb. 2022, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.htm.