In March 2013, Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability began tracking the monthly employment data for Americans with disabilities in a report, titled, National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE). John O’Neill, PhD, Kessler Foundation’s Director of Employment and Disability Research, and Andrew Houtenville, PhD, the Institute on Disability's Associate Professor of Economics, customize the jobs report released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics to combine the statistics for working age men and women (ages 16 to 64).
nTIDE analyzes key indicators that reflect the employment environment for Americans with disabilities, including:
- Labor Force Participation Rate – the rate of how many people are actively employed or looking for work compared to the total population
- Employment-to-Population Ratio – the percentage of people who are working compared to the total population
- Percent Looking – the percentage of individuals who are actively looking for work
As the figures are not yet seasonally adjusted—which does not control for the fluctuations in the workforce based on the time of the year—nTIDE compares the month’s employment date to the corresponding month of the previous year. The report, therefore, tracks and monitors how employment for people with and without disabilities is changing and how the gap is changing between the two populations.
“The ability to find employment is a huge indicator of quality of life but continues to be a struggle for people with disabilities, including our veterans,” said Dr. O’Neill. “Through nTIDE, we have a benchmark to monitor the progress of our country in creating employment opportunities and removing attitudinal and physical barriers to help this talented population find, and succeed in, a career. The report is useful for our government, funders, disability organizations, employers, and other interested parties to keep this important issue in the forefront of their minds and give clear numbers of improvement.”
In addition to providing updates on the employment numbers, nTIDE highlights an initiative that expands or creates job opportunities for job-seekers with disabilities. Since 2005, Kessler Foundation has awarded $30 million in grants to disability employment initiatives around the US that increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Understanding that everyone has different skills and interests, Kessler Foundation funds initiatives in a variety of fields, including finance, retail, computer technology, hydroponics, telecommuting, document management, laboratory technology, social enterprise, self-employment, the arts, as well internship opportunities. Through the Foundation’s support, more than 3,000 individuals with disabilities, including veterans, have found job training and employment.
Within two hours of the Bureau of Labor Statistics releasing its jobs report, Kessler Foundation and the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability create and distribute nTIDE over a national wire as well as all social media channels. Through June of 2014, nTIDE has received more than:
- 43,000 views
- 2,000 verbatim clips
- 1,500 headline clips
- 150 social media mentions
- 422,877 social media followers touched
The report has attracted attention from The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, The Hill, CNBC, and other outlets.
nTIDE is funded, in part, by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (H133B130015 & H133B120005) and Kessler Foundation.
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