Disability Employment


Two men at a job interview shaking hands

State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED)

NCSL serves as a partner on the State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED)—an effort launched by the federal Office of Disability Employment Policy to work with state policymaker membership organizations on disability employment policy.

SEED looks to states as leaders in creating innovative policies that remove barriers to employment and increase access to work for the millions of Americans living with disabilities. SEED equips states with timely data, sample policy options, state examples, and technical assistance support that ensure state-level policy critical to employment success—such as workforce development, economic opportunity, transportation and technology—is disability inclusive.

Latest Developments from NCSL

“Workers' Compensation: Keeping Injured and Ill Workers in the Workforce”

NCSL’s new report explores how states can utilize workers' compensation programs and benefits to keep workers who are injured on the job engaged in the workforce during and after their recovery. Topics addressed include alternative job placement, employer hiring incentives, workplace accommodations, and other strategies that states can employ to aid in the transition back to work. NCSL wrote the report in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor’s State Exchange on Employment and Disability (SEED).

Western States Policy Meeting: Barriers to Employment for People With Disabilities

In June 2019, six Western states assembled teams of state legislators, governor's advisers, and state agency officials to develop strategies to enhance employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Teams from Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Utah and Washington addressed important policy issues such as inclusive state hiring practices, work-based learning programs, accessible transportation and keeping injured and ill workers engaged in the workforce. NCSL hosted the meeting in partnership with the Council of State Governments (CSG) and the federal Office of Disability Employment Policy. 

Work Matters

“Work Matters: A Framework for States on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities” represents the culmination of a yearlong joint task force effort by state policymakers convened by NCSL and CSG to address barriers to employment and develop policy solutions to build a thriving workforce that is disability inclusive. Through the work of the task force, state legislators, legislative staff and state executive branch officials explored the causes of these barriers and devised bipartisan policy options supporting increased employment access and opportunity for people with disabilities.

Five Policy Categories

This state-led, member-driven task force process resulted in the development of the Work Matters framework, composed of 13 major policy options organized into five policy categories below: 

State Legislation Database

NCSL’s Disability Employment Database provides current information on legislative efforts in the states and territories targeting disability employment issues and related disability issues.

Additional SEED Resources