Education is often the missing link...
It keeps people with disabilities from being able to get jobs, especially well-paying jobs.
The problems begin in elementary school. Some children who are identified as having disabilities are written off by educators as unteachable, even though their disabilities may have nothing to do with learning. Other children may be incorrectly placed in the special education system because English is not their first language, or they face life situations that temporarily make them behave unacceptably.
New York City’s special education system is extraordinarily complicated and difficult for parents and students to navigate. Few students graduate from it with “real” high school diplomas that qualify them to go on to further education or find work. Many never acquire essential literacy skills needed in everyday adult life.
Education takes on renewed importance when working adults become disabled in ways that interfere with their ability to work. Retraining may be necessary to enable them to go back to work. It can be a major challenge to find ways to pay for job training or college tuition. Too often, the adults with disabilities are steered toward training for entry-level, dead-end jobs.