Did you know...

People with disabilities are nearly twice as likely as people without disabilities to have an annual household income of $15,000 or less.

Disability Stats and Facts

  • People with disabilities constitute the nation's largest minority group, and the only group any of us can become a member of at any time.
  • Between 1990 and 2000, the number of Americans with disabilities increased 25 percent, outpacing any other subgroup of the U.S. population.
  • People with disabilities represent the single largest minority group seeking employment in today's marketplace.
  • Of the 69.6 million families in the United States, more than 20 million have at least one family member with a disability.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Education, workers with disabilities are rated consistently as average or above average in performance, quality and quantity of work, flexibility, and attendance.
  • Over 65 percent of working-age adults with disabilities are unemployed. Of these working adults, nearly one third earn an income below the poverty level.
  • People with disabilities are nearly twice as likely as people without disabilities to have an annual household income of $15,000 or less.
  • The unemployment rate of people with disabilities is ten times greater than the national unemployment rate, yet many of those unemployed individuals have the skills you need.
  • 1 billion people globally report having a disability, and people with disabilities in the U.S. control aggregate annual income of > $1 trillion
  • 2.3 million undergrad & grad students reported disabilities in 2004, more than double the 1.1 million reported in 1996
  • The employment rate for people with disabilities was 38.1% in 2005, roughly half of that for people without disabilities
  • There are 133 million people in the United States living with a chronic health condition. That number is expected to increase by more than one percent a year to 150 million by 2030. 75 percent of people with chronic health conditions are younger than 65
  • Globally, people with disabilities represent an emerging market on par with the size of China
  • Approximately 54 million Americans have at least one disability, making them the largest minority group in the nation. As our baby boomer population ages and more veterans return from war, this number will double in the next 20 years.
  • Notwithstanding the strides made in disability rights in the past 25 years, the majority of people with disabilities are poor, under-employed and under-educated due largely to unequal opportunities. People with disabilities constitute the largest minority group in the United States, making up an estimated 20 percent of the total population. It is a diverse group, crossing lines of age, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status.
  • We all have a personal stake in this community: it is open to anyone who might experience an accident, illness, genetic difference or the effects of aging. And yet, the Foundation Center reports that out of over 3 billion dollars spent in philanthropic giving, only 2.9 percent of grants made by institutionalized philanthropy are directed to programs serving people with disabilities.
  • Disability Inclusive Grantmaking is the mission of DFN: inclusion of disability in grantmaking programs and inclusion of people with disabilities in grantmaking organizations.
  • Disability belongs in any grantmaking program that supports diversity. Or education. Or employment. Or housing. Or civic participation, arts and culture, technology, health care or any other element of life. The interests and needs of people with disabilities mirror those of other groups.
  • Disability Funders Network, or DFN, was established in 1994 to be a catalyst for creating a new understanding of how funders can respond to disability issues and promote awareness, support and inclusion of people with disabilities and disability issues in grantmaking programs and organizations.
  • By broadening the definition and understanding of disability, grantmakers can be more responsive to the full range of issues affecting the country's largest minority group
  • According to the Social Security Disability Resource Center (SSDRC), more than 50 million Americans have some level of disability. Of these individuals, 44 percent have a disability that is not considered severe and are able to work year round on a full-time basis. Of the total number, 80 percent are individuals who are 80 years of age or older. Additionally, among the 51.2 million Americans with disabilities are 1 million individuals who report they are unable to hear and 1.8 million individuals who report they are unable to see. (source: U.S. census data released May 2006; read the full news release)
  • For more than a third of individuals with disabilities, assistive technology is essential to being able to take care of themselves at home. (source: 2004 Harris Poll)
  • Disability rates vary among the major racial and ethnic groups (source: U.S. Census 2000):
    • African-American and American Indian/Alaska native persons report the highest rate of disability, at 24.3 percent for each group.
    • Asians reported the lowest rate of disability, 16.6 percent.
  • Disability rates vary geographically, as well (source: U.S. Census 2000):
    • Nearly 40 percent of persons reporting a disability live in the South - twice the 20 percent of each of the other three geographic areas. Persons living in Alaska, Utah and Minnesota each reported the lowest rates of disability, about 15 percent. Persons living in West Virginia reported the highest rate of disability, at 24.4 percent, followed by Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Mississippi, each over 23 percent.
  • Of the 49.7 million noninstitutionalized individuals aged five and older who reported having a disability in the U.S. 2000 Census (source: U.S. Census 2000)
    • 9.3 million reported having a sensory disability involving sight or hearing.
    • 21.2 million reported having a disability that limits their ability to engage in basic physical activity such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting or carrying.
    • 12.4 million reported having a physical, mental or emotional condition that makes it difficult to learn, remember or concentrate.
    • 6.8 million reported a physical, mental or emotional condition that makes it difficult to dress, bathe or get around inside the home.
    • 18.2 million reported their disability makes it difficult to venture outside the home.
  • Census 2000 data on disability:
  • Census Data on the 14th Anniversary of the ADA
  • August 2004 NOD/Harris Poll data:
  • 2005 Census Data Regarding People with Disabilities