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Employable people with disabilities have virtually the same educational qualifications for employment as those in the general adult population. Yet as of April 2014, the unemployment rate among those with disabilities was more than double the general population rate — 13 percent compared to 6 percent. Why the discrepancy?

According to an analysis of data gathered by the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management, several factors work against a prospective employee with a disability: Companies tend not to have staffing plans, they do not offer the flexibility many disabled workers need to flourish, and they don’t provide disabled employees with a forum that gives them a voice in company policies regarding hiring.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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