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New Report on Disabilities and the Digital Divide

The gap in access to computing devices as well as the internet has a disproportionate impact on people with disabilities, according to the findings of a report recently published by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This gap creates barriers to preparing for, obtaining, and achieving success in employment. The report cites lower rates of access to internet subscriptions at home among people with disabilities, for example, largely due to costs, as a significant barrier. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital access became more critical, with the increase in remote work. During this time, “workers with disabilities transitioned from being employed to unemployed or out of the labor force at higher rates than workers without disabilities…”  ODEP’s report reveals detailed data and analysis of internet subscriptions and use as well as employment among those with disabilities, with the intent of providing information that can be used by policymakers and decision makers in developing policies and practices to improve socioeconomic outcomes. Read the full report on Disability and the Digital Divide here.