With Disabilities

African Americans with disabilities are not likely to be employed. Only about 13% of working-age African Americans with a disability are employed, leaving the rest either unemployed or not in the labor force (i.e., not seeking work) (Bowe, 1991; Walker et al., 1996). As noted, lack of employment has enormous implications for the individual's ability to fulfill his or her roles.

African Americans with disabilities are likely to be single. Sixty-one percent of males and 71% of females are not married. About 27% of males and 43% of females have less than 12 years of formal education. Lack of education contributes to inability to obtain employment. Low levels of education and unemployment naturally exacerbate a cycle of poverty. Forty-one percent of African Americans with a disability live on or below poverty income (Walker et al., 1996). These statistics indicate

Table 1.3

Selected Characteristics of Persons with a Work Disability, 1992

Work Disabled as a Percent of the Total Population

African Americans

Whites

Age Groups

Total persons

13.8

1 6-24 years old 25-34 years old 35-44 years old 45-54 years old 55-64 years old

Note: From L. L. Hornor, (1995). Black Americans: A Statistical Sourcebook. Palo Alto, CA: Information Publications.

that African Americans with disabilities are at increased risk for stressors associated with low socioeconomic status.

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