The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of policy regarding employment for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) in the USA. Drawing from recent data, it assesses the impact of policy on current employment services and rates of employment.
An introduction provides details regarding the benefits of employment for individuals with disabilities, current demographic information in the USA and salient definitions. Next, ten key national laws and one state law relating to employment for individuals with disabilities are outlined briefly. Finally, current outcomes for adults with disabilities are presented in order to assess the implementation and effectiveness of the legislation presented.
Whilst this paper is a policy review, and therefore no novel findings have been produced, it is clear by juxtaposing the mandates enacted by the US Government with practical outcomes that there is a need to assess implementation and effectiveness of such legislation.
It is imperative to scrutinize policy in the context of practical outcomes in order to assess its viability and relevance. Additionally, it is crucial that practitioners and academics be aware of the legislation that impacts the populations with whom they interact. Finally, in the context of this publication, it is important that researchers and practitioners in the UK understand US policy, and likewise US professionals understand UK policies in order to facilitate greater cross-cultural communication and collaboration for the mutual benefit of both nations.
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