Disability By The Numbers Media Kit

These shareable graphics are perfect for use on social media to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook. Lots of “Did You Know” facts that many people do not know!

Photo of 5 people in business attire. One of them is in a wheelchair. The following text is overlaid on the image: 1-in-5 Americans have a disability; 56.7 million Americans have a disability; 8.1 million difficulty seeing, 7.6 million difficulty hearing; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; source: U.S. Census (https://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/miscellaneous/cb12-134.html)
Photo of a teenage girl with Down’s Syndrome and a middle-aged woman baking bookies, with the following text overlaid on the image: 51% of Americans report having a family member or close friend with a disability; 52% of Democrats report that they or a loved one have a disability; 44% of Republicans have a disability or a loved one with a disability; Independents have the largest number of voters who say they have a disability or a loved one with a disability: 58%; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; source: September 2012 poll (http://laszlostrategies.com/index.php/sub-press/press-releases/119-breaking-news)
Photo of a man wearing a suit sitting in a wheelchair and typing on a laptop with the following text overlaid on the image: 70% of the 21-million working-age people with disabilities are outside of the workforce. For people without disabilities, this is less than 22 percent. RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.html
Photo of a young man in a wheelchair smiling, two young women nearby. The following text is overlaid on the image: Studies show that 70% of young people with disabilities can get jobs and careers when they are given the right placement and support such as school-to-work transition training like Project Search and Bridges To Work; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; Source: http://mathematica-mpr.com/-/media/publications/PDFs/disability/project_search_brief.pdf
Photo of a young woman wearing a graduation cap and gown, holding a diploma, and sitting in a wheelchair, with the following text overlaid on the image: 300,000 young people with disabilities age into what should be the workforce each year *1.3 million young Americans ages 16-20 with disabilities; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; Source: http://disabilitystatistics.org/sources.cfm?n=3#acs
Bar graph entitled “Poverty rate by race, ethnicity, gender, and disability, 2014,” with the following summary on the image: The poverty rate of working-age people with disabilities (28.5%) is more than twice that of people without disabilities (12.4%). More people with disabilities live in poverty (28.5%) than any other minority. 26.2% of African Americans live in poverty while 23.6% of Hispanic Americans do. 15.3% of women live in poverty and just 10.1% of white people live in poverty. Obviously, there is an even higher poverty rate for people who fall into multiple categories, such as an African American woman with a disability; RespectAbility www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; Source: Institute for Research on Poverty, http://www.irp.wisc.edu/faqs/faq3.htm
Photo of a man with Down Syndrome in a suit, working at a laptop. The image is overlaid with the text: Among young adults with disabilities (ages 18-24), only 42% were either employed or in school, compared to 81% of young adults without disabilities; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org
Photo of 4 young adults gathered around a computer. A pair of crutches rests against the desk. The image is overlaid with the text: For graduates of 4-year colleges, the employment rate, both men and women; has been 89.9%. For college graduates with disabilities, the employment rate is 50.6%; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; Source: Center for an Accessible Society, Labor Day and People with Disabilities, retrieved from http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/economics-employment/labor2001.htm
Photo of a boy with a cane in one hand and holding the hand of a little girl in the other. They are walking away from the camera on a deserted road. The image is overlaid with the text: “People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of crime than people without disabilities. People with disabilities between the ages of 12-15 and 35-49 were 3 times more likely to be victims of violent crimes; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org. Source: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5280
Photo of a somber young woman in a leather jacket sitting on a concrete staircase. The image is overlaid with the text: At least half of the estimated 375 to 500 people shot and killed by police each year in this country have a disability; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; Source: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/field_document/13-1412_bsac_the_american_civil_liberties_union.pdf
Photo of someone’s hands gripping cell bars, overlaid with the text: 32% of federal prisoners report having at least 1 disability; 40% of jail inmates report having at least 1 disability; RespectAbility, www.RespectAbilityUSA.org; Source: http://www.bjs.gov/

General Disability Demographics:

  • Each year 300,000 young people with disabilities age into what SHOULD be the workforce. However, only 34 percent of America’s 21 million working age people with disabilities have jobs. Of those who are working, 400,000 are working in sheltered workshops, many of whom are paid sub-minimum wage.

People with Disabilities, Sexual Assault and Rape

People with disabilities are much more likely to be victims of sexual violence as compared to those without disabilities. According to NCVS and other studies, there is a correlation between individuals with disabilities and rates of sexual violence. Additionally, the type of disability matters. Those with cognitive disabilities are at the highest risk for sexual violence, while those with hearing impairments are at the lowest. The number of disabilities, too, increases the odds that a person will be a victim of sexual violence. More specifically:

  • From NCVS, all points are from a statistical average of the years 2009-2013, unless otherwise noted:
    • An average of 59,000 adults with disabilities will be raped or sexually assaulted each year.
    • Every 9 minutes, an adult with a disability is sexually assaulted or raped.
    • Adults with disabilities (hearing, vision, cognitive, ambulatory, self-care limitations, or inability to live independently) are 68 percent more likely than persons without disabilities to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.
    • People with disabilities are about three times more likely than adults without disabilities to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.
    • Adults with cognitive disabilities are at greatest risk for violent victimization, and those with hearing disabilities are at the lowest risk.
    • Adults with more than one disability are twice as likely than those with a single disability to be a victim of rape or sexual assault.
    • In 2013, 39 percent of all violent crimes committed against adults with disabilities were serious violent crimes (defined as rape, sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated assault), compared to 29 percent for those without disabilities.
    • In 2013, 24 percent of violent crime victims with disabilities reported the belief that they were targeted because of their disability.
  • Children with cognitive disabilities are 4x more likely than those without disabilities to be sexually abused.
    Source: Sullivan, P.M. & Knutson, J.F. (1994). The Relationship Between Child Abuse and Neglect and Disabilities: Implications for Research and Practice. Omaha, NE: Boys Town National Research Hospital
  • Men with a disability are twice as likely as men without a disability to be a victim of sexual violence.
    Source: The Roeher Institute (1995). Harm’s Way: The Many Faces of Violence and Abuse Against Persons with Disabilities in Canada.
  • Approximately half of adults with cognitive disabilities will experience 10 or more sexually abusive incidents in their lifetime.
    Source: Sobsey, D. (1994). Violence and Abuse In The Lives of People With Disabilities: The End of Silent Acceptance? Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Crime, Incarceration and Violence

  • People with disabilities are twice as likely to be victims of crime than people without disabilities. People with disabilities between the ages of 12-15 and 35-49 were three times more likely to be victims of violent crimes.
    Source: http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5280
  • 32 percent of federal prisoners report having at least one disability

    Source: Disabilities Among Prison and Jail Inmates, 2011–12 (NCJ 249151), was written by Jennifer Bronson and Laura M. Maruschak of BJS, and Marcus Berzofsky of RTI International. The report, related documents and additional information about BJS statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.
  • 40 percent of jail inmates report having at least one disability

    Source: Disabilities Among Prison and Jail Inmates, 2011–12 (NCJ 249151), was written by Jennifer Bronson and Laura M. Maruschak of BJS, and Marcus Berzofsky of RTI International. The report, related documents and additional information about BJS statistical publications and programs can be found on the BJS website at http://www.bjs.gov/.
  • A 2005 national survey of education services in juvenile corrections found that on average, 33 percent of youth in the education programs were receiving special education services. The study also found that almost 20 percent of the youth with emotional and behavioral disorders were arrested while in secondary school, approximately 13 percent of juvenile offenders had developmental disabilities, and 36 percent had learning disabilities.
    Source: Students with Disabilities & the Juvenile Justice System: What Parents Need to Know- Pacer Center http://www.pacer.org/jj/pdf/jj-8.pdf
  • Youth with emotional disabilities comprise more than 47.4 percent of students with disabilities in secure care, while within public schools they account for only about eight percent of students with disabilities. Students with learning disabilities are also overrepresented in the juvenile justice system and account for 38.6 percent of students with disabilities in these settings.

    Source: Youth Involved in the Juvenile Corrections System http://www.ncwd-youth.info/youth-in-juvenile-corrections

Education

  • Nationally, 80 percent of public high school students earned a diploma on time during the 2011-2012 school year. While the number of students with disabilities obtaining diplomas also ticked up that year, just 61 percent of those with special needs graduated, the findings indicate
    Source: Stetser, M., and Stillwell, R. (2014). Public High School Four-Year On-Time Graduation Rates and Event Dropout Rates: School Years 2010–11 and 2011–12. First Look (NCES 2014-391). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch.
  • The need for students to earn a high school diploma has never been greater, and this is especially true for the more than 2.2 million students with Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD). Currently, only 68 percent of students with SLD leave school with a regular high school diploma and in three states, more students with learning disabilities drop out than graduate. This has long-term effects on the college and career prospects of students with SLD, including contributing to an unemployment rate of 39.5 percent for these adults.
    Source: Diplomas at Risk: A Critical Look at the Graduation Rate of Students with Learning Disabilities https://www.ncld.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/DiplomasatRisk.pdf
  • State High School Graduation Rates

    Source: U.S. Department of Education, EDFacts/Consolidated State Performance Reports http://www.governing.com/gov-data/high-school-graduation-rates-by-state.html

    • State High School Graduation Rates for All Students – United States
      • 2012-13 Graduation Rate: 81.4%
      • 2011-12 Graduation Rate: 80%
      • 2010-11 Graduation Rate: 79%
    • State High School Graduation Rates for Low Income Students – United States
      • 2012-13 Graduation Rate: 73.3%
      • 2011-12 Graduation Rate: 72%
      • 2010-11 Graduation Rate: 70%
    • State High School Graduation Rates for Children with Disabilities – United States
      • 2012-13 Graduation Rate: 61.9%
      • 2011-12 Graduation Rate: 61%
      • 2010-11 Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Among young adults with disabilities (ages 18-24), only 42 percent were either employed or in school, compared to 81 percent of young adults without disabilities.

Working-Age People with a Disability / Employment

  • 70 percent of working-age people with disabilities are outside of the workforce. Less than 30 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities participate in the workforce. Of the more than 20 million Americans with disabilities who are of working age, less than 30 percent work, compared to more than 78 percent of non-disabled Americans.

    Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/disabl.nr0.htm      
  • 21 million working-age people with disabilities

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates, American FactFinder, Table S1810; factfinder.census.gov (accessed 22 September 2015).
  • 34 percent of working age people with disabilities are employed

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates, American FactFinder, Table B18120; factfinder.census.gov (accessed 2 October 2015). PG 53
  • 2 percent of people with visual impairment are employed
    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates, American FactFinder, Table B18120; factfinder.census.gov (accessed 1 October 2015. PG 48
  • 24 percent of people with ambulatory or cognitive difficulties are employed

    Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2014 American Community Survey, 1-Year Estimates, American FactFinder, Table B18120; factfinder.census.gov (accessed 1 October 2015). PG 49-50
  • As of February 2016, the labor force participation rate for all people with or without disabilities increased to 62.9 percent from 62.7 percent in January of 2016.
    Source: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/labor-force-participation-rate
  • The gap in labor force participation between people with and without disabilities, however, is vast. In 2013, it had grown to 57.1 percent from 45.2 percent in 1981 – a roughly 12 percent increase!

    Source: the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium: http://disabilitycompendium.org/home

Poverty

  • Twice as many Americans with disabilities live in poverty compared to those without disabilities. More than 28 percent of non-institutionalized adults aged 21-64 with a disability in the United States live in poverty compared to 12.4 percent of those without a disability; greater than the rate for any other demographic category including African-Americans, Hispanics, or female-headed households.
    Source: Institute for Research on Poverty, http://www.irp.wisc.edu/faqs/faq3.htm
  • More people with disabilities live in poverty (28.5 percent) than any other minority. 26.2 percent of African Americans live in poverty while 23.6 percent of Hispanic Americans do. 15.3 percent of women live in poverty and just 10.1 percent of white people live in poverty. Obviously, there is an even higher poverty rate for people who fall into multiple categories, such as an African American woman with a disability.