Impact Feature Issue on Employment and Women With Disabilities

From the Editors

Why is work important to women with disabilities? Well, for the women profiled in this Impact there are a lot of reasons. Among them are feeling successful and important, earning money, being independent, having a reason to get up in the morning, making a meaningful difference in the lives of others, learning new things, following a sense of calling, and achieving goals. At the same time, it is also true that fewer women with disabilities participate in the workforce than men with disabilities or women without disabilities. All the reasons for this difference are not entirely clear. One of the things we do know is that the expectations that people have of women with disabilities play a role in their participation in the workforce. We also know that awareness of a range of employment strategies and options on the part of professionals opens up possibilities that may otherwise be overlooked. And we know that having role models and mentors makes all the difference in the world for girls and women with disabilities as they think about what they want to do with their adult lives. Because having meaningful, valued work is such an important part of life, we hope through this Impact to encourage readers to hold an expansive vision of what’s possible for women with disabilities in the employment arena, and to offer strategies, resources, and inspiration to realize that vision.