The brief outlines the benefits and drawbacks of remote work for people with disabilities, with the hopes of influencing policy in individual workplaces and on local, state and federal levels, blending together three previous publications from the Disability Inclusive Employment Policy RRTC, from the Disability and Health Journal, the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, and the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation.
In this working paper, researchers evaluated employment trends for people with and without disabilities over the course of the COVID-19 recession and subsequent employment recovery, both overall and by occupational category (essential, non-essential, teleworkable, non-teleworkable, frontline, nonfrontline) using data from the nationally representative Current Population Survey. As the COVID-19 recession began in the second quarter of 2020, people with disabilities experienced employment losses that were proportionately similar to those experienced by people without disabilities.
This journal article used data from the American Community Survey to compare people with and without disabilities in the expansion of telework as the pandemic began, and the evolution of telework during the pandemic. The authors concluded that many people with disabilities benefit from working at home, and the pandemic has increased employer acceptance of telework, but the current occupational distribution limits this potential. Tighter labor markets during the recovery offer hope that employers will increasingly hire people with disabilities in both telework and non-telework jobs.
This article in the journal Work and Occupations examines disability-based differences in the joint significance of discrimination and work precarity during the pandemic for mental health. Survey analysis found that precarious employment, greater discimination, and disability independently predict depressive symptoms. Further, in the context of greater discrimination, more precarious employment is found to have greater significance for people with disabilities compared to those who are not currently disabled.
This Psychiatric Services brief report describes a study that followed up with peer support specialists (PSSs) responding to an earlier survey to assess the pandemic’s continued employment and personal effects. A total of 496 PSSs completed both surveys. Unemployment remained at 7%. The proportion with full-time employment increased by December, but financial instability also increased. Tasks involving individual support and group facilitation, which had decreased significantly, rebounded somewhat by December, when nearly all PSSs (86%) reported having some new tasks.
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