Approaches to Increasing Employment and Quality of Employment Among Youth with Disabilities

Best Practice


Kamal Lamichhane
Emma Venetis
Amy Mulcahy-Dunn
Kate Batchelder


EnCompass LLC, Management Systems International (MSI), Tetratech, and Data and Evidence for Education Programs (DEEP)





This evidence and good practice paper provides an understanding of the context, barriers, and practices related to approaches that increase employment and quality of employment among youth with disabilities, primarily in lower- and middle-income countries. The paper draws on existing literature, activity reports, and consultations with practitioners and individuals with disabilities. The definition of youth varies depending on the country, context, and bilateral or multilateral agencies involved. USAID defines youth as people ages 10 to 29 (“Youth in Development Policy: 2022 Update,” 2022). However, given the focus on employment, this report discusses youth ages 15–29. This report presents examples of policy measures and model cases to show what approaches are currently being applied in various contexts.

The research reflected in this evidence and good practice paper is guided by the following questions:

  • What does the evidence tell us about the most effective ways to increase new employment, sustain employment, and improve the quality of employment among youth with disabilities?
  • What approaches are most effective in varying contexts, (formal vs. informal sector, distance learning, on-the-job training)?
  • Data permitting, how does the effectiveness of these approaches vary by type of disability and intersectionality with other equity dimensions such as race/ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, level of educational attainment, caste, and family background (household structure, socioeconomic status), etc.?
  • How do labor supply factors (such as job seekers’ skills, attitudes, and knowledge), demand-side factors (such as employer hiring practices, attitudes, accessibility of workplaces, etc.), and labor market conditions affect or limit employment opportunities among youth with disabilities?
    • What kinds of data are needed to inform these approaches?
  • What kind of approaches (such as legislation and/or regulations) are effective in promoting disability inclusion within the private and public sectors?
  • What additional data and research are needed to fully answer the questions in this area?

Download the paper

Key Area
employemeent of young with disabilities


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