The report is one of a series that addresses young adults at risk of non-employment or low-level employment. The two other reports in the series are: 1. Young adults who are neither working nor pursuing post-high school studies and do not intend to study in the coming year; 2. Young adults who are working, with 12 years of school or less. The data for all three groups were collected concurrently. Altogether, some 1,200 young adults were interviewed.
A weighted sample of some 400 young adults with disabilities was identified through a screening questionnaire and interviewed in depth by telephone. The sample represented the population of adults with disabilities aged 23-26 – 60,880 individuals (14% of the age cohort). The population was divided into two groups: Group A – young adults with physical/ intellectual/ sensory/ mental disabilities (some also had learning disabilities and/or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD); Group B – young adults with learning disabilities and/or ADD and no other disability.
Young Adults with Physical/ Intellectual/ Sensory/ Mental Disabilities
45% are neither working nor studying and do not intend to undertake post-high school studies in the coming year
Of those neither working nor studying, 70% are interested in working, 55% of these said they would need assistance – particularly guidance, counseling, and to find work. The main barriers to their employment is low-level education, difficulties of employment efficacy, and little preparation for the labor market; 35% are interested in studying, and 64% of these said that they would need assistance, particularly guidance, counseling, and financial aid. Most are interested in vocational training, some are pursuing post-high school/academic studies.
Young Adults with Learning Disabilities and/or ADD
74% are men
18% are neither working nor studying: 79% are interested in working – and 47% said they need assistance, mainly guidance and counseling; 53% are interested in studying (mainly vocational training and post-high school/academic studies) – and 61% said they need assistance – mainly guidance, counseling and financial aid.
76% had had scholastic difficulty and 26%, discipline problems in school; 28% percent drink excessively or had a criminal file opened against them.
The findings were presented at various forums and contributed to policymaking and the development of programs for young people with disabilities.
The study was funded with the assistance of the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Fund for Research on Children with Disabilities.