30 Years After the Americans with Disabilities Act: Perspectives on Employment for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2020 Aug;31(3):499-513. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2020.04.007. Epub 2020 Jun 7.


The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, represented landmark legislation and led to significant improvements in accessibility, such as prohibiting discrimination based on disability in public life, including employment. Now 30 years later, however, employment rates for persons with disabilities, including spinal cord injury, remain low. This article discusses why employment is so important for persons with spinal cord injury and challenges that remain. Presented are previously unpublished employment data from a nationally representative US sample. Finally, the state of the art of vocational rehabilitation, including models proven to facilitate this critical rehabilitation outcome, is discussed.

Keywords: Disability; Employment; Individual placement and support; Spinal cord injury; Supported employment; Vocational rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disabled Persons / rehabilitation*
  • Employment*
  • Humans
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational*
  • Spinal Cord Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • United States