The Number of Young Professionals with Disabilities Continues to Grow

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Millennials are a talented and driven generation that represents a growing percentage of the modern workforce. One interesting fact about this generation is that there are more Millennials with disabilities than Boomers with disabilities or Gen Xers with disabilities in the workplace today. According to Iconoculture, 33% of young, college-educated professionals have some type of disability (Iconoculture, 2017). One of the reasons for this is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public (ADA National Network). This act opened many new job opportunities for those looking to enter the workforce, specifically Millennials. So long as you can perform the essential core functions of a job, you legally cannot be discriminated against.

Others speculate the increase in Millennials with disabilities is the increasing diagnosis rates of various mental health issues, increasing the number of disabled Millennials in the white-collar workforce (Inc.). The good news is that many cities and companies are thinking proactively and helping this generation to live happy lives. AbleTo is a tech-enabled provider of mental healthcare that has online options to help Millennials improve their mental health. The MTA is testing the “Access-A-Ride” program in New York that allows people to call taxis from their smartphones for the same prices as a metro card swipe. Airbnb recently acquired Accomable, a company that aims to help travelers with disabilities. These positive shifts continue to turn the tables for Millennials with disabilities.