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SourceAmerica Employment Inclusion Survey Reveals Nationwide Desire for More Employer Support for People with Disabilities

Almost all respondents agreed the government and private/public sectors should actively support employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities

VIENNA, Va., Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- SourceAmerica®, an AbilityOne® authorized enterprise committed to increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities, today announced results of a recent national survey that revealed 93% of respondents desire the private sector and government to take a more active role in supporting employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

9 in 10 respondents said it was important for their employers to value diversity and inclusion

The poll of 1,000 employed Americans and 1,000 employed Americans with disabilities found that 9 in 10 respondents said it was important for their employers to value diversity and inclusion, specifically including individuals with disabilities.

"The survey results strengthen our resolve to help create access to jobs for people with disabilities. Our goal is to create a level playing field where anyone with a disability who wants to work has the opportunity to do so," said Richard Belden, president and CEO of SourceAmerica. "As we approach National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we want to encourage public and private sector employers to join us in connecting people with disabilities to competitive jobs with good wages and advancement potential to build careers."

In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) this October, SourceAmerica commissioned this survey which was independently conducted by market research company OnePoll between July 14 and July 21, 2023. The findings highlight the crucial need for more public and private sector help in creating additional job opportunities for people with disabilities.

How Disabilities Impact Career Trajectory

The survey found that disabilities have had a significant impact in job interviews and careers. In an alarming finding, the majority (57%) of Americans with disabilities believe their disability has limited their career opportunities. Forty-three percent believe that people with disabilities are not given equal opportunities for employment and advancement in the workplace.

Survey data also revealed that more than half of Americans with disabilities (58%) experienced discrimination during job interviews, compared to only 26% of Americans without disabilities.

A majority (59%) of those with disabilities said they've left their job due to discriminatory acts, while only 26% of people without disabilities have made the same decision based on discrimination.

Two-thirds (68%) with disabilities said they've witnessed discrimination against someone with a disability in their workplace; twice as many (32%) as respondents without disabilities.

DEIA Initiatives in the Workplace

The survey revealed a national lack of awareness of DEIA initiatives, with only 4 in 10 of the respondents knowing that the "A" stood for Accessibility in DEIA. Six in 10 respondents indicated that they have not heard of DEIA.

Of those familiar with DEIA initiatives, 58% believe that their employer is not doing enough to promote diversity and inclusivity. Seven in 10 believe more emphasis should be placed on people with disabilities in workplace DEIA initiatives.

Additionally, 67% viewed DEIA initiatives as essential for helping individuals facing barriers to employment, which includes people with disabilities.

The Role of Government and Private Sector in Creating Jobs for People with Disabilities

Respondents also voiced their opinions on the actions needed for immediate change.

More than 1 in 3 think that targets, quotas and goals for disability representation are important to encourage more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

"The survey results highlight the need for better access to employment opportunities for people with disabilities. It indicates that most Americans think the government and private sector should do more to employ individuals with disabilities," said Richard Belden, president and CEO of SourceAmerica. "That is why we continue to voice our support and educate lawmakers on Congressional efforts to establish a 1% federal procurement contracting goal for the AbilityOne Program."

The AbilityOne Program is among the nation's largest sources of employment for people who are blind or have significant disabilities. Only 0.55% of federal contracting is awarded to AbilityOne-authorized providers. By establishing a 1% goal, Congress can level the playing field among federal agency priorities where existing goals for other procurement programs range between 3% and 23%. SourceAmerica calculates that, through the Department of Defense alone, this goal could create an additional 16,400 employment opportunities for people with disabilities, including veterans and wounded warriors.

To view the full survey results, please visit https://www.sourceamerica.org/who-we-are/employment-inclusion-survey

The survey was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About SourceAmerica
SourceAmerica connects government customers and other organizations to a national network of AbilityOne® authorized providers that hire a talented segment of the workforce—people with disabilities. Established in 1974, SourceAmerica is committed to increasing economic and social inclusion and advocating for a more accessible future of work for people with disabilities. SourceAmerica, an AbilityOne® authorized enterprise, harnesses the momentum and boosts the capability of its network and customers as a leading job connector for the disability community. To learn more, visit SourceAmerica.org and follow @SourceAmerica on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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