Youth with Disabilities and Employment Success

This is an archived program and therefore, may not contain current information.

Students with disabilities in Mississippi are less likely than their classmates without disabilities to graduate from high school with a diploma. They are less likely to receive the job training they need, attend college, or find a meaningful job. Without employment, departing students are immediately dependent on their parents or society.


  • Only 27 percent of youth with disabilities graduate from high school compared to 75 percent of students without disabilities.
  • Only 1 in 3 youth with disabilities receive job training.
  • The unemployment rate for people with disabilities hovers between 50 and 75 percent.

In Mississippi

  • There are an estimated 350,000 people with disabilities, including 40,000 with developmental disabilities—the highest rate of individuals with disabilities per population in the United States.
  • The state’s rate of accident-related disabilities is one of the highest in the nation with approximately 130 spinal cord injuries and 5,000 cases of traumatic brain injury each year.
  • The number of children receiving SSI—2.97 percent—is double the Southeastern average and triple the national average.
  • In 2000, 62,153 children, birth through 21, were served by special education in the Mississippi public schools. This total includes learning disabilities, severe/low incidence disabilities, physical disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, emotional disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, mild to moderate disabilities, and autism.