By Diane Boone & Lancaster Patriot Staff
July 30, 2022

According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 40.7 million people living with disabilities throughout the nation — a number that is expected to continue increasing over time. Many of these disabilities do not prevent individuals from participating in the competitive workforce that the U.S. economy runs on, but there are physical and intellectual disabilities that make employment a herculean challenge for others. According to disability employment statistics published by the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2021 the labor force participation rate of individuals without disabilities was 67.1%, compared to a mere 21.3% of individuals with disabilities. Of that 21.3%, a significant number of those with more pronounced disabilities work for commensurate wages in positions, programs and facilities made possible through Section 14C of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act — but 14C has come under fire in recent years and could be wiped from the law.

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