Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Lindsay, S. (2011). Employment status and work characteristics among adolescents with disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation, 33 (10), 843-854.
Title:  Employment status and work characteristics among adolescents with disabilities
Authors:  Lindsay, S.
Year:  2011
Journal/Publication:  Disability and Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Informa Healthcare
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Database mining

Structured abstract:

Background:  People with disabilities experience high rates of unemployment. This is despite the fact that many are ready and willing to work. Little is known about work experiences for youth with disabilities. Understanding factors that influence employment may help improve employment outcomes for them.
Purpose:  The aim of this study was increase knowledge about the characteristics of youth who are employed, where they work, and how this varies from teens to young adults.
Setting:  The data source was drawn from a telephone survey conducted with with various households in Canada.
Study sample:  The sample was made up of 2,534 people with disabilities. This included youth 15 to 24 years old.
Intervention:  There was no intervention.
Data collection and analysis:  Data from the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) were analyzed. The survey is conducted every four years. The goal is to collect an array of information about individuals with disabilities. The response rate was 74.9% overall. Data was collected on 15,817 individuals aged 15 to 24. The study sample included the 2,534 that were currently employed. Responses to demographic items (i.e. gender, geographical area, household income etc...) were recoded for multivariate analyses. Whenever the data set did not match study variables, a proxy was used (i.e. home language spoken for ethnicity; number of people in the household for family structure etc...). An employment status variable was used to capture working status. Industry sector was measured using National Classification System. Data on other employment characteristics (i.e. wages, number of employees at work place etc...) were also examined. To measure type of disability, a derived variable was used drawing on replies to questions about abilities or problems related to communication, mobility, hearing,vision, and cognitive skills. Data weights provided by Statistics Canada, were used to provide estimates representative of household populations. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression models were also use to analyze the data.
Findings:  Geographic location, transportation and type of disability (i.e.mobility impairment) significantly influenced whether or not a person was employed. Young adults aged 20 to 24 worked in more diverse industries and more hours than those who were 15 to 19 years old. The young adults were also more likely to be self employed than the teenagers.
Conclusions:  Some youth with disabilities may require help to gain employment. Rehabilitation and other professionals should identify those who are at risk and provide additional assistance.

Disabilities served:  Cognitive / intellectual impairment
Hearing impairment
Mobility impairment
Speech or language impairment
Visual impairment
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Rural and remote communities
Transition-age youth (14 - 24)