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Disability Statistics

Statistics of Disability

According to the US Department of Commerce, a person has a disability when he/she has difficulty with any of the following:

  • normal body functions, such as seeing, hearing, talking, or walking
  • activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing or dressing
  • certain expected roles, such as doing housework, schoolwork, or working at a job
  • performing usual activities, such as driving or taking a bus

Statistics related to disability:

  • Approximately 51.2 million people in the US have some type of disability, with physical, sensory, mental, and self-care effects ranging from mild to severe.
  • Nearly 52 percent of persons over age 65 (or 17.6 million people) have some level of disability.
  • About 11 million people of all ages are severely disabled and need personal assistance for daily activities.
  • Stroke is a leading cause of long-term, severe disability in Americans. Today, 5.8 million US adults live with the effects of a stroke.
  • Approximately 1.4 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year.
  • About 11,000 people in the US suffer a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) each year. At present, about 250,000 to 400,000 people live with a SCI disability.

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