People with disabilities are being impacted by COVID-19 at a higher rate than those without a disability, according to data from a survey conducted by Global Disability Inclusion.

The national independent survey of more than 500 participants was conduced via SurveyMonkey to measure the impact and outlook of COVID-19 on those with and without disabilities. Respondents were recruited via the Global Disability Inclusion Newsletter Subscriber list as well as randomly selected participants between 18-64 years old via the SurveyMonkey Audience service.

Per the survey data, 51% of people with a disability have either lost their jobs, been laid off or furloughed, or believe they will lose their job in the next 90 days compared to 28% of those without a disability, according to a media release from Global Disability Inclusion.

Total Respondents 537: 102 People with a Disability, 432 No Disability
Total Respondents 537: 102 People with a Disability, 432 No Disability

Figure 1: People with disabilities are more than 2x as likely as those without disabilities to think they will need to find a new job outside of their current industry in the next few months.

“The survey data demonstrates people with disabilities, who are often already on the fringes of competitive employment, are some of the first groups impacted as companies shuffle their workforce to reduce hours, and lay off employees due to the economic shutdown,” Meg O’Connell, CEO & Founder of Global Disability Inclusion, says in the release. “Companies are faced with unprecedented changes to their work environments and many are struggling to keep operations going. Unfortunately, this negatively impacts many employees with a disability.”

“As COVID-19 shifts the way we work, it has also shifted the businesses and industries that will lead us out of this economic crisis.  This presents new opportunities for both those with a disability and the companies looking for employees who can adapt to new environments.

“As we continue to adjust to our new business environments,” she adds, “and the world of work shifts to become more remote, it will be important for companies to understand the impact and the opportunity of continuing to leverage a workforce that is diverse and includes the largest diversity segment, individuals with disabilities.”

[Source(s): Global Disability Inclusion, PR Newswire]