New report shows that people with disabilities in Ireland more likely to live in poverty

A new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has found that people with disabilities in Ireland are more likely to live in poverty and rely on social welfare payments for income than the wider population.

The report, ‘Educational and Employment Experiences of People with a Disability in Ireland: An Analysis of the National Disability Survey’, demonstrates that difficulties in obtaining or retaining meaningful employment is the reason why most people with disabilities find themselves in at an economic disadvantage.

Just 29% of people with disabilities of working age are in employment, it revealed.

The report examined the education opportunities for people with disabilities, finding that people affected by their disability during their school years tended to have lower levels of educational qualifications than the wider population.  17% of people with disabilities missed some time in school because of their disability, while 15% actually left school earlier than they would have otherwise liked or chosen to.

It linked low levels of education to the particularly low employment among people with intellectual disabilities.  92% of people with intellectual disabilities and 80% of people with learning difficulties were affected by their disability while in school or college.

One surprising result was that those who had been affected by their disability during their school years were slightly more likely to be currently at work than those who acquire a disability later in life.  

About half of those surveyed who are not in work stated that they would like a job, if the circumstances were right.  When asked to identify supports which would help them to hold a job, 46% said flexible work arrangements, such as reduced hours; 29% mentioned adapted job tasks; and 32% suggested improved accessibility.

Click here to read in full the ESRI report on the education and employment experiences of people with disabilities in Ireland.


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