One in four U.S. adults has a disability which impacts major life activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including difficulty in hearing and seeing, in mobility like climbing stairs, in cognition like concentrating and in living independently and taking on activities like dressing. Altogether, 61 million Americans have a disability.

Despite the added challenges in day-to-day life, much of this population can work — and wants to. But many encounter challenges in their attempts. In 2022, only 21.3% of the population of people with disabilities was employed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For some, this might be a matter of health care. Those in the community who rely on Medicaid might be afraid to lose their benefits if they exceed a certain financial limit. But for others, it’s a matter of hiring.

Here are a few reasons this population’s employment rate remains low and what employers can do to ensure they are hiring equitably.

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