Women and Disabilities

Essay by alwaysessenceUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2005

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The most inescapable reality for women with disabilities is POVERTY.

DAWN Ontario

Women and Disabilities

The workforce is rapidly changing for all types of people, but most greatly in the areas of women and disabled persons. This begs the question, how will it be changing for disabled women? It is important to address specific obstacles that women with disabilities may encounter in the workplace.

According to the Women's Legal Guide, disability is "something that can profoundly affect women socially and economically" (Hauser 260). It is also noted that very little study has been to determine what it means to be a woman with a disability. Studies that have been done suggest that "women with disabilities are much worse off economically than males with disabilities" (Hauser 260). These studies show how imperative education and awareness are and "underline how vitally important it is for women to understand disability and especially to comprehend what it means to be a woman with a disability in our society" (Hauser 260).

Disabled persons in the US form our nation's largest minority group -- about 20% of the populace. (Workplace Inclusion 3). According to the US Department of Labor, "If you do not currently have a disability, you have about a 20% chance of becoming disabled at some point during your work life," (Diversity and Disabilities 96).

What is the effect on the economy of these valuable untapped resources? "Our nation bears tremendous human and social cost as a result of unemployment of people with disabilities. Each year the federal government spends 40 times more money to support people with disabilities NOT working than it spends to assist them to prepare for employment...[which] costs our nation's economy more than $300 billion annually," (Workplace Inclusion 7).

In the same piece, Jim Ward, director of public...