Category Archives: Disabilities by the Numbers

The CDC Promotes Healthy Lifestyles for PwD

Today, about 50 million Americans, or 1 in 5 people, are living with at least one disability, and most Americans will experience a disability some time during the course of their lives. Anyone can have a disability.

People with disabilities face many barriers to good health. Studies show that individuals with disabilities are more likely than people without disabilities to report:
Having poorer overall health.
Having less access to adequate health care.
Having no access to health insurance.
Skipping medical care because cost.

Engaging in risky health behaviors, including smoking and physical inactivity.
People with disabilities can lead long healthy lives. Many can and do go to school and attend places of worship. They also vote, marry, have children, work, and play. Having a disability does not mean a person can’t be healthy.
People with or without disabilities can stay healthy by having health care access and living healthy lifestyles.

To be healthy, people with disabilities require health care that meets their needs as a whole person, not just as a person with a disability.
Learn What You Can Do
Get the best possible healthcare
Get Tips on leading a healthy life and for getting physically fit.
Improve the health and wellness of people with disabilities
Person with Disability:
Make Sure You are Getting the Best Possible Healthcare
There are also many things you can do to make sure you are getting the best possible health care:
Know your body, how you feel when you’re well and when you’re not.
Get regular preventive screenings (e.g., mammograms, prostate, colorectal)
Talk openly with your health care professional about your concerns.
Find out who the best health care professionals are in your area to meet your needs.
Check to be sure you can get into your health care professional’s office and that he or she has the staff and equipment you need.
Think through your concerns before you visit your health care professional.
Bring your health records with you.
Take a friend with you, if you’re concerned you might not remember all your questions and all the answers.
Get it in writing. Write down, or have someone write down for you, what is said by the health care professional.
Ask for help finding more information through materials like brochures, or at specific Web pages on the Internet.
Tips for Leading a Long and Healthy Life
Children and adults with disabilities are less likely to be of healthy weight and more likely to be obese than children and adults without disabilities.
Overweight and obesity can have serious health consequences for all people. Learn more…
Eat healthy foods in healthy portions.
Be physically active every day.
Don’t get too much sun.
Get regular checkups.
Don’t smoke or use illegal drugs.
Use medicines wisely.
If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation.
Stay in touch with family and friends.
If you need help, talk with your healthcare professional.
Tips for Getting Physically Fit

To be healthy, all adults should be physically active 30 minutes a day at least 5 days each week; all children should be active for 60 minutes a day, at least 5 days each week.
Set physical activity goals that you can reach.
Track what you do.
Reward yourself when you meet your goals.
Seek support from your friends and family members. Ask them to join you in your activities.
Don’t give up. If you miss a day, don’t quit. Just start again.
For more tips and information on disability and health, you can read The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Improve the Health and Wellness of Persons with Disabilities: What It Means to You. Also called the “People’s Piece,” it provides helpful ways to improve everyone’s knowledge about the health and wellness of people with disabilities
Improve the Health and Wellness of People with Disabilities
Health Care Provider:
You can do a lot to improve the health and wellness of people with disabilities. For instance, you can:

Video: Mark’s Story
This video tells the story of Mark and his role as a person helping future health care providers improve their care of people with disabilities. The intent of this video is not to endorse specific activities, but to share one man’s story, experience, and hope.

Address the medical needs of the whole person, not just the disability.
Be as attentive to concerns of pain, depression, job pressures, smoking and alcohol use as you are with all patients.
Be aware and patient of the extra time it might take a person with a disability to speak or act.
Recommend and monitor clinical preventive services as closely as will other patients.
Know that the facilities you refer patients to for preventive screenings (e.g., mammograms) are accessible.
Ensure that your facility is fully accessible (e.g., parking, exam tables, restrooms, etc).
Ask the person with a disability if he or she needs any help. Do not assume help is needed.
Understand that not having access to work, school, health care, or fun things to do can cause more problems than a disability itself.
Seek training on disability competence for health professionals.

More Information

Disability & Health – CDC
Physical Activity and Disability
The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010 (US Department of Health and Human Services)
Office on Disability (US Department of Health and Human Services)
20th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act
Healthy Living – CDC
Health Care: See Why Being Insured Matters
CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. A US federal agency, CDC helps make the healthy choice the easy choice by putting science and prevention into action. CDC works to help people live longer, healthier and more productive lives.

U.S. Disability Statistics of School Age Children

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Published: Nov 17, 2011 (Revised: Jun 14, 2013)

Abstract: Examines disability type school enrollment and geographic distribution for school-age children in the United States.
Detail: This brief, based on 2010 American Community Survey estimates, examines disability type, school enrollment and geographic distribution for school-age children in the United States.

The brief compares disability rates of children among states and metropolitan vs. non-metropolitan areas.

Statistic Highlights:

Of the 53.9 million school-age children 5 to 17, about 2.8 million were reported as having a disability in 2010.
Across the states, the percentage of metro area children with disabilities who were enrolled in public schools ranged from 76.5 percent to nearly 100 percent.

Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio and the District of Columbia had public school enrollment rates for children with a disability that was less than the national estimate.

Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming had enrollment rates above the national estimate.

Rates of disability among school-age children for metropolitan statistical areas ranged from 1.2 to 13.0 percent, while the disability rates for those enrolled in public schools ranged from 1.4 percent to 14.6 percent.
About 89.4 percent of school-age children with a disability living in metro areas were enrolled in public schools, 7.3 percent were enrolled in private schools and 3.3 percent were not enrolled in school.

Full Statistics

For the full statistics go to (PDF File)

Latest U.S. Disability Statistics and Facts

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Published: Jul 26, 2011 (Revised: Jul 26, 2011)

Abstract: Figures facts and statistics relating to disability in America today supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Detail: Census Bureau News – Facts for Features: Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act: July 26.

On July 26th 19 years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act became effective. Signed into law two years earlier, the goal was to guarantee equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public and commercial facilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees equal opportunity for people with disabilities in public accommodations, commercial facilities, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications.

Quick Facts:

There are 36 million people who have at least one disability, about 12 percent of the total U.S. population.

Those with vision difficulties number 6.5 million, while 19.4 million have problems walking or climbing stairs.

Another 13.5 million have difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.

Population Distribution:

36 million – Number of people who have a disability. They represent 12 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population.

By age:

* 5 percent of children 5 to 17 have disabilities.

* 10 percent of people 18 to 64 have disabilities.

* 37 percent of adults 65 and older have disabilities.

12.3% – Percentage of females with a disability, compared with 11.6 percent of males.

18.8% – Percentage of people with a disability in West Virginia, highest of all states. Utah has the lowest with 8.9 percent of its residents reporting a disability.

Specific Disabilities:

10.2 million – Number of people who have a hearing difficulty. Of these, 5.8 million are 65 and older.

6.5 million – Number of people with a vision difficulty.

13.5 million – Number of people 5 and older who have difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions. Of these, 2.1 million are children 5 to 17 years of age.

19.4 million – Number of people 5 and older who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

On the Job:

6% – Percentage of disabled workers 16 and older who use public transportation to commute to work. In addition, 70 percent of people with a disability drive alone, 13 percent carpool, 4 percent walk and 3 percent use a taxicab, motorcycle, bicycle or other means.

22% – Percentage of disabled workers 16 and older who work in the educational services and health care and social assistance industries, the highest of any industry.

Income and Poverty:

21% – Percent of the population age 16 and older with a disability that are below the poverty level. Eleven percent of the population age 16 and older without a disability are below the poverty level.

72% – Percentage of disabled people 16 and older who are not in the labor force. Twenty-seven percent of people without a disability are not in the labor force.

$18,865 – Median earnings of the population age 16 and older with a disability, this compares with $28,983 for the population without a disability.

Serving Our Nation:

$35.3 billion – Amount of compensation veterans received for service-connected disabilities in fiscal year 2008.


28% – Percentage of people 25 and older with a disability who have less than a high school graduate education. This compares with 12 percent for those with no disability.

13% – Percentage of people 25 and older with a disability who have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This compares with 31 percent for those with no disability.

Source: 2009 American Community Survey

NOTE: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error.

Related Topics
This information is from the Disabled World Facts & Statistics Section – Other relevant documents include:
The World Health Organization’s Report on Disability
Number of U.S. Adults Reporting Disabilities is Increasing
U.S. Employment Statistics for Persons with a Disability
ADA 20th Anniversary US Disability facts and Statistics
Discuss this Document
Do you agree, disagree, or would like to add an opinion on this topic? We welcome articulate, well-informed remarks relevant to the article. Comments are moderated by editorial staff of Disabled World, however we do not verify or endorse material shared by commenters below.

Disability in America: News, Facts, and Information

Information regarding disability in the USA including facts and statistics, news, and information of interest for persons with disabilities residing in, or visiting America.

U.S. Disability Statistics
Disability in America Infographic

The number of U.S. adults reporting a disability increased by 3.4 million between 1999 and 2005. 12.1% of the U.S. Adult Population Aged 21-64 Years Reported a Disability in 2008. Today an estimated 39,395,000 people in the United States had a disability, or 14.8% of the population age 5 and over.

In addition, an estimated 7,092,000 people, or 2.7% of the U.S. population 5 and over, have difficulty performing self-care activities, also known as Activities of Daily Living, such as dressing, bathing, or getting around inside the home.

The Social Security Administration estimates that three in 10 of today’s 20-year-olds will suffer a disability before reaching 67 and also reports 69% of the private sector work force has no long-term disability insurance. Essentially, seven out of 10 workers would have to rely on their own personal savings, limited state-run insurance or Social Security for replacement income in the event they could not work because of a disability.

Veterans – In the year 2008, an estimated 16.9 percent (plus or minus 0.20 percentage points) of non-institutionalized civilian veterans aged 21 to 64 years reported having a VA service-connected disability in the United States. In other words, 2,217,000 out of 13,102,700 non-institutionalized civilian veterans aged 21 to 64 years reported having a VA service-connected disability in the United States in 2008 (U.S. Veteran Facts and Statistics)

Michigan Health and Disability Statistics

Disability news and information for the State of Michigan, including facts and statistics.

Disability Statistics Michigan – There are an estimated 1,470,000 people in the state of Michigan over the age of five who have a form of disability. Approximately 270,000 people, or 2.9% of the state’s population, experience difficulties with performing activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, or moving around inside of their homes. There are around 805,000 people in the state who have a form of work disability, and around 287,000 people with disabilities in Michigan who are employed. Around 60,000 people with disabilities in Michigan are unemployed, while 457,000 are currently not in the workforce.

Michigan Disability Resources

Michigan’s Assistive Technology Project – Michigan has three year State Plan for Assistive Technology approved by the Rehabilitation Services Administration –

Autism Society of Michigan (ASM) – The mission of the Autism Society of Michigan (ASM) is to assure full participation and self determination in every aspect of life for each individual –

United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan – United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan (UCP Michigan) is a non-profit advocacy organization that works for life without limits for people with cerebral palsy and other disabilities –

The Arc of Michigan – The mission of The Arc Michigan is to ensure that people with Developmental Disabilities are valued in order that they and their families can participate fully in and contribute to their community –

Community Advocates for Persons with Developmental Disabilities – Supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in the Kalamazoo area since 1953 –

Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan – The Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan will ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and will prevent, control and cure epilepsy through services, education, advocacy, and research –

Disability Network of Oakland and Macomb – Disability Network Oakland & Macomb is a private non-profit, non-residential organization run for and by people with disabilities –

Michigan Dyslexia Institute (MDI) – The Michigan Dyslexia Institute (MDI) is a nonprofit organization serving children and adults with dyslexia –