COVID-19 and Employment for People With Disabilities

Josh Cunningham and Saige Draeger 3/24/2021

Digital illustration of coronavirus particles

As the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in early 2020, the nation was launched into an economic recession leading to millions of job losses. For people with disabilities, the pandemic presents new challenges and new opportunities to securing and maintining employment. Increased health risks at the workplace may limit employment opportunities for many Americans with medical conditions that make them more susceptible to COVID-19. But a rapid shift to e-commerce and teleworking may make previously-unviable jobs available to people with mobility challenges. As local, state and federal governments shift into economic recovery mode, policymakers may want to consider workforce development strategies that are inclusive of workers with disabilities. 

NCSL's new report series tackles critical ways COVID-19 is impacting people with disabilities. Each report provides policymakers with resources to navigate the various federal actions in response to the pandemic as well as state policy options available to lawmakers to help enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities.   

Read the Reports

This report series was created as part of NCSL's collaboration with the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED). SEED is an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) that assists states in developing effective and inclusive workforce policies that promote disability employment. Recognizing that every state is unique, SEED offers policy options and resources states can tailor to meet their needs and goals. To this end, SEED partners with leading intermediary organizations that serve as trusted sources of information to state and local policymakers.