Accessibility Related Numbers

In order to prioritize accessibility, you must begin by understanding the scope and impact of the effort. The numbers below present information about individuals living with disabilities world wide and in the United States of America. While these number are helpful, they do not include individuals who are temporarily disabled due to accidents, surgery, or other situations.

World Wide

World Report on Disability

While the entire report provides valuable information, a few quotes from Page 261-262 present a summary of key numbers.

  • “Disability is part of the human condition. Almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life, and those who survive to old age will experience increasing difficulties in functioning.” pg 261
  • “More than a billion people are estimated to live with some form of disability, or about 15% of the world’s population (based on 2010 global population estimates).” pg 261-262
  • “The number of people with disabilities is growing. There is a higher risk of disability at older ages, and national populations are growing older at unprecedented rates.” pg 262

Global Burden of Disease Study: Incidence, Prevalence, and Years Lived with Disability 1990-2017

This report provides the number of individuals living with disabilities, broken down in tables by disability type, as well as the changes between 2007 and 2017.  Country profiles and additional data resources for each country are also available on the site.

United Nations’ Women with Disability Fact Sheet

This fact sheet pulls together powerful information about the specific challenges women with disabilities face worldwide, including:

  • Men with disabilities are nearly 2 times as likely to have jobs than women with disabilities
  • Women with disabilities have difficulty getting access to health services and women with mental disabilities are particularly vulnerable
  • Women with disabilities are more likely than men to be institutionalized

United States

2016 Disability Percentages from Census Bureau

  • 3.6% of the population lives with hearing disability
  • 2.4% of the population lives with visual disability
  • 5.2% of the population lives with cognitive disability
  • 7.1% of the population lives with ambulatory disability

Census Bureau Newsroom Archive, 2012

  • As of the 2010 census, approximately:
    • 19% (56.7 million) of American’s had a disability
    • 8.1 million had difficulty seeing
      • 2.0 million people were blind or unable to see
    • 7.6 million people experienced difficulty hearing
      • 1.1 million experienced severe difficulty hearing
      • 5.6 million used a hearing aid
    • 30.6 million had difficulty walking or climbing stairs, or used a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker.
    • 19.9 million people had difficulty lifting and grasping
    •  41 percent of those age 21 to 64 with any disability were employed, compared with 79 percent of those with no disability

United States Census Bureau Americans with Disabilities 2010

  • American consumers with disabilities represent 200 billion in discretionary spending

Diverse Perspectives: People with Disabilities Fulfilling your Business Goals

  • People with disabilities are the nation’s largest minority

Disability of Veterans

  • In 2014, 28.8 percent of all veterans 18 years and older had a disability
  • Veterans experience disability at younger ages than non-veterans
  • More recent veterans are more likely to have a service-connected disability than previous cohorts