NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED512695
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan-20
Pages: 236
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Workforce Infrastructure in Support of People with Disabilities: Matching Human Resources to Service Needs
National Council on Disability
Americans with disabilities depend on the disability services infrastructure, which consists of health, education, and social services programs. The need for these services is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades as a result of several factors, most notably the aging of the baby boom generation and declining birthrates. These trends threaten the future availability and quality of services for people with disabilities. As the threat grows, so do the downsides to the American economy and society, which are increasingly engaged competitively on a global basis. People with disabilities occupy a strategic place in America's ability to compete. Either their talents and ambitions will be developed into a resource for the society, or they will remain on the margins, battling for shrinking resources. This report presents recommendations (with a rationale for each) that call for partnerships among federal departments and agencies, their State counterparts, and the private sector, including organizations involved with education/training, health care, and employment services. A concerted effort is needed by these sectors to ensure that the projected shortfall in the workforce of the disability services infrastructure entities can be quickly overcome. Unless everyone works together to meet this goal, the quality of life for people with disabilities will be threatened. The gains made over the past two decades in the levels at which people with disabilities participate socially and economically will be lost, and achieving levels of independence comparable to those of people who are not disabled will be pushed farther into the future. The national health care debate, so much a part of the political scene in 2009, as well as the stimulus funds made available by the Obama Administration and Congress, create a unique opportunity to focus attention on the current and future needs of people with disabilities. The potential for refocusing priorities to ensure that the resources are available in the critical areas of employment, education, and health care services for people with disabilities is great and must be realized. Numerous forecasts based on diverse trends all point to a shortage of qualified workers to meet the needs of people who are disabled. National Council on Disability calls for policymakers at all levels of government to proactively address these shortages and examine how labor market changes are driving both current and future supply needs. This six-section report covers the following topics: (1) Introduction and background; (2) National trends, gaps and barriers, and their implications for people with disabilities and the disability services industry; (3) Disability services infrastructure occupations: supply and demand; (4) Private sector strategies for building and maintaining a sufficient supply of disability infrastructure occupations; (5) Public sector strategies for building and maintaining a sufficient supply of disability infrastructure occupations; and (6) Recommendations. Appended are: (1) Literature Abstracts; (2) Supply-Demand Charts of Infrastructure Occupations; and (3) Mission of the National Council on Disability. (Contains 3 tables, 5 figures and 33 endnotes.)
National Council on Disability. 1331 F Street NW Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004. Tel: 202-272-2004; Fax: 202-272-2022; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Council on Disability
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Workforce Investment Act 1998