Disability and Material Well-Being since the Passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Julia A. Rivera Drew, University of Minnesota
In the United States, people with disabilities experience high levels of poverty and low rates of employment. Despite the fact that a minority of people with disabilities work, only a few studies examine their economic well-being outside of earnings and employment. It is increasingly vital to characterize trends and patterns in the economic well-being of people with disabilities as it becomes clear they have been left behind in the economic expansions of the 1990s and disproportionately impacted by the recessions of the past 20 years. The current paper tracks economic well-being since the ADA for working-age people with disabilities along three key dimensions: 1) poverty dynamics, 2) material hardship, and 3) sources of and total earned and unearned income. Additionally, this study investigates whether trends differ by employment status, disability type, and sex. To characterize trends, this study uses data from the Surveys of Income and Program Participation.