Wall of Exclusion: The Americans With Disabilities Act’s Failure To Close The Employment Gap

Policy paper produced while working as a Research Intern for Voice of Specially Abled People (VOSAP).

The main findings of this paper include the following: (1) The representation of people with disabilities in the workforce has barely improved since the passing of the ADA, (2)The ADA’s enforcement mechanism — the civil court system — has proven ineffective in preserving the rights of people with disabilities, (3) Employers have a monetary incentive to settle cases instead of making accommodations or changing their hiring practices, and (4) Monetary incentives for hiring PWDs has been the most effective way of increasing PWD employment rates. This paper then compared the PWD employment rate in states with state-specific tax incentives for businesses to hire PWDs with the United States’ total PWD employment rate to assess whether state incentives are impactful.