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Education and Employment

SBA abandoning people with disabilities as small business owners: Report

Side view of disabled businessman working in office

The National Council on Disability (NCD) has released a report to Congress and the President that finds the Small Business Administration (SBA) is abandoning people with disabilities as small business owners.

The new report titled 2020 Progress Report on National Disability Policy: Increasing Disability Employment informs that people with disabilities are mostly missing from the fastest occupations in the economy and are over-represented in those on the decline.

The focuses attention on federal laws, policies, and practices that continue to impede or prevent people with disabilities from obtaining and retaining competitive employment. It finds that the participation of people with disabilities in the labor market is still mostly marked by entrenched poverty and economic exclusion and often as a result of federal policies.

The report also finds many other federal programs train people with disabilities, including youth, in industries with the steadiest rates of decline; or create formidable disincentives to work at all.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 19% of people with disabilities were employed during the nine years between 2009 and 2018, as compared to more than 65% of people without disabilities.

“30 years after the ADA was signed into law, it’s more than past time for policymakers to take a critical look at federal programs and services that were set up long before people with disabilities had the civil rights we have today and modernize them,” said NCD Chairman Neil Romano. “If we’re going to transform the employment outcomes of people with disabilities, we’re going to have to transform the way federal policy supports people with disabilities,” he said. “What people want and need are services and supports that enable them to work – not benefits and services at the expense of work.”

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