A recent CDC report shows that one in five U.S. adults live with one form of disability or another. According to the report, currently 53 million people living in the U.S. are disabled.
Elizabeth Courtney-Long, senior CDC researcher involved in the study, explained that the challenges disabled patients face may vary depending on the type of disability.
“In order to understand and address their needs, we need to understand their diverse circumstances. This report provides a snapshot into that,”
Dr. Courtney-Long added.
A person is considered disabled if it has “self-reported” difficulty in performing various activities within five major areas – cognition, ability to take care of themselves, mobility, independent living, and eye vision.
According to CDC researchers, a person can be deemed disabled on the basis of a vision problem if he or she is either blind or cannot see clearly with their eye glasses on. Those impaired on a cognitive level find it hard to remember things or make decisions due to a mental or physical condition.
Disabled people on a mobility basis are those who find it hard to climb stairs without help from somebody else, while those who cannot take care of themselves cannot dress or bathe without help.
According to the recent report, in the South there are more disabled people than in other parts of the U.S. For instance, in Alabama and Tennessee more than 30 percent of adults are affected by a disability.
In the South, the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes or cardiovascular conditions is also higher than in Northern states. In Alaska, and Minnesota up to 18 percent of adult population is disabled.
Researchers noted that lower education, poverty, and unemployment boosted the risk of having a disability. Additionally, Blacks and Latinos were more likely to be diagnosed with a disability than Caucasians.
The National Organization on Disability recently reported that nearly 70 percent of disabled people are unemployed, while 20 percent are able to have a job. But the good news is that disabled children and teens have access to education the same way their healthy peers have. So, researchers hope that disabled people that are highly educated may make a difference and help their less fortunate peers be employed.
On July 26, the Americans with Disabilities Act celebrated its 25th anniversary. According to authorities, the law allowed disabled people to get a job without fear of discrimination. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Sunday that ADA also helped the American society become stronger and more inclusive.
Image Source: CDC