Educational and Employment Experiences of People with a Disability in Ireland: An Analysis of the National Disability Survey

This research analysed the micro-data on education and employment from the National Disability Survey 2006. The study, funded by the National Disability Authority, was carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Key findings from the research

  • 70% of working-age adults with a disability acquired their disability in adult life, with 30% affected from birth or childhood
  • People who were affected by their disability during their school years tended to have lower levels of educational qualifications than the wider population
  • 17 per cent of people with disabilities missed some time in school because of their disability and 15 per cent left school sooner than they would have liked
  • Most working-age people with a disability have worked in the past (56 per cent) or are currently working (29 per cent)
  • The highest proportion who have never had a job or who have left a job because of a disability is among those with poor health, low stamina, or mental health difficulties
  • There is low employment among people with intellectual disabilities, which is linked to low levels of education
  • Those who left work because of a disability tended to be older adults, people with mental health difficulties, and those with problems of health, pain or stamina.
  • About half of those not in work state they would like a job if the circumstances were right
  • Survey participants were asked what would support them to hold a job. Flexible work arrangements such as reduced hours were identified by 46 per cent, modified job tasks by 29 per cent and disability accessibility modifications by 32 per cent.
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