A new American Institutes for Research (AIR) analysis found that workers with disabilities who have at least a high school education earn 37 percent less on average than their peers without disabilities. This disparity costs federal and state governments up to $31.5 billion in potential tax revenue. Surprisingly, AIR researchers noted that earnings disparities increase with higher educational attainment. Among workers with a high school degree or the equivalent, those with disabilities earned on average $6,505 less than their peers in 2011. The gap widens to nearly $21,000 on average among those with a master’s or more advanced degree. AIR experts note that employees with disabilities face economic discrimination similar to what female employees experience – they receive 37 percent less pay compared with 35 percent less for women.
Read an overview of the study here.