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By the Numbers: Americans WIth Disabilities Act

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OnJuly 26, 1990, PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services.

This Facts for Features provides a demographic snapshot of the U.S. population with a disability and examines various services available to them. The statistics come from various Census Bureau censuses and surveys, covering differing periods of time.

Population Distribution

56.7 million: The number of people inthe United Statesin 2010 with a disability, according to the Survey of Income and Program Participation. People with disabilities represented 19 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population. People with a disability have a physical or mental impairment that affects one or more major life activities, such as walking, bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, going outside the home or doing housework. A disability can occur at birth or at any point in a person's life.
Source: Americans With Disabilities: 2010

15.7 million: The number of people age 65 and older with at least one disability, according to data collected from the American Community Surveyfrom 2008 to 2012, which makes up 39 percent of the population in this age group. Of this group, two-thirds had difficulty in walking or climbing stairs. The second-most cited disability was difficulty with independent living, such as visiting a doctor's office or shopping.
Source:Older Americans With a Disability: 2008-2012 

19.9%: The percentage of the civilian noninstitutionalized population inWest Virginiain 2014 with a disability — the highest rate of any state in the nation.Utah, at 9.6 percent, had the lowest rate.
Source: 2014 American Community Survey, Table GCT1810


28.1%: The percentage of the civilian noninstitutionalized population inPike County, Ky., in 2014 with a disability — among the highest rate in the nation among counties with populations of 65,000 or more.Loudoun County, Va., at 5.5 percent, had among the lowest rates.
Source: 2014 American Community Survey, Table GCT1810

23.2%: The percentage of the civilian noninstitutionalized population in The Villages (CDP), Fla., in 2014 with a disability — among the highest rates in the nation among places with populations of 65,000 or more.San Ramon, Calif., at 4.3 percent, had among the lowest rates. A place is a city, town, village or borough, either legally incorporated or not.
Source: 2014 American Community Survey, Table GCT1810

Services for Those With Disabilities

2,833: The number of business establishments providing special needs transportation in 2012, up 20.7 percent from 2,347 in 2007. Such businesses may use specially equipped vehicles to provide passenger transportation. These businesses employed 61,605 people in 2012 and generated revenues of$3.5 billion. Employment was up 24.0 percent and revenues increased 27.7 percent since 2007.
Source: 2012 and 2007 Comparative Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS485991)

14,060: The number of business establishments that provided pet care (except veterinary services) in 2012. These businesses generated revenues of$3.4 billion. Among these businesses are those that train assistance dogs.
Source: 2012 and 2007 Comparative Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS812910)

25,964: The number of business establishments providing services for the elderly and people with disabilities in 2012. These businesses employed 901,359 workers and generated$34.1 billionin revenues. In 2007, there were 20,433 such establishments, employing 621,545 people and producing$25.3 billionin revenues. These establishments provide for the welfare of these individuals in such areas as day care, nonmedical home care or homemaker services, social activities, group support and companionship.
Source: 2012 and 2007 Comparative- Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS624120)

7,832: The number of business establishments providing vocational rehabilitation services in 2012; these businesses employed 312,659 people and generated revenues of$12.4 billion. In 2007, there were 7,631 such establishments, employing 303,713 people and producing revenues of$11.5 billion. These businesses provide job counseling, job training and work experience to people with disabilities.
Source: 2012 and 2007 Comparative Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS624310)

2,344: The number of business establishments providing translation and interpretation services in 2012; these businesses employed 24,926 people and generated revenues of$4.2 billion. In 2007, there were 1,975 such establishments, employing 14,546 people and producing revenues of$1.9 billion. Among these businesses are those that provide sign language services.
Source: 2012 and 2007 Comparative Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS541930)

3,597: The number of business establishments providing home health equipment rental in 2012, down 4.4 percent from 3,762 in 2007. Such businesses rent home-type health and invalid equipment, such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen tanks, etc. These businesses employed 33,935 people in 2012 and generated revenues of$5.4 billion. Employment was up 2.8 percent while revenues decreased 7.8 percent since 2007.
Source: 2012 and 2007 Comparative Economic Census Geographic Area Series (NAICS532291)

Specific Disabilities (Updated)

Note: All estimates in this section come from the American Community Survey 2014 1-year data, measuring the civilian noninstitutionalized population. 

10.8 million: The number of people age 18 and older in 2014 who were deaf or had significant difficulty hearing. Among people age 65 and older, 6.7 million were deaf or had significant difficulty hearing.

6.8 million: The number of people age 18 and older in 2014 who had serious difficulty seeing even when wearing glasses. Among people age 65 and older, 3.0 million had serious difficulty seeing.

20.6 million: The number of people age 18 and older in 2014 who had serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs. Among people age 65 and older, 10.4 million had serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

12.8 million: The number of people age 18 and older in 2014 who had serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions due to a physical, mental or emotional condition. Among people age 65 and older, 4.1 million had serious difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions.

14.1 million: The number of people age 18 and older in 2014 who had difficulty doing errands alone, such as visiting a doctor's office or shopping, due to a physical, mental or emotional condition. Among people age 65 and older, 6.8 million had difficulty doing errands alone.

7.4 million: The number of people age 18 and older in 2014 who had difficulty dressing or bathing. Among people age 65 and older, 3.8 million had difficulty dressing or bathing.

Older People With a Disability

Note: The source for the data in this section isOlder Americans With a Disability: 2008-2012, which contains data from the 2008 to 2012American Community Survey.

25.4%: The percentage who were age 85 and older with a disability among the population age 65 and older, according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.

More than One-Third
The proportion of people age 85 and older with a disability who lived alone, compared with one-fourth of those age 65 to 74, according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.

54.4%: The percentage of the older population who had not graduated from high school and had a disability, twice the rate of those with a bachelor's degree or higher (26.0 percent), according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.

12.6%: The percentage of older Americans living in a household with a disability living in poverty, compared with 7.2 percent of older household population without a disability, according to the 2008-2012 American Community Survey.

Earnings

$21,232: Median earnings in the past 12 months for people with a disability. This is 68 percent of the median earnings, $31,324, for those without a disability. (Both figures pertain to the civilian, noninstitutionalized population 16 years and older, with earnings in the past 12 months.)
Source: 2014 American Community Survey, Table B18140

Mobility

Note: The source for the data in this section is Desire to Move and Residential Mobility: 2010-2011, a report which uses data from theSurvey of Income and Program Participation.

12.5%: The percentage of householders with a disability who desired to move to another residence, higher than the corresponding figure of 8.2 percent for those without a disability. Those with mental disabilities were the most likely to desire to move (20.6 percent).

17.3%: The percentage of householders with a disability who desired to move to another residence and actually did so over a one-year period.

9.3%: The percentage of all householders with a disability who moved to another residence over a one-year period.

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