Did you Know these Things about People with Disabilities?

Did you know these things about people with disability (the source is at the bottom)?

Disability is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.

An impairment is a problem in body function or structure.

Disability, not just a health problem, is a complex phenomenon, interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society.

People with disability experience a narrower margin of health because of poverty and social exclusion, and are vulnerable to secondary conditions.

Over one billion people globally experience disability.

There are approximately 54 million people in the U.S. who have been impacted by disability.

Estimates are that 80% are un-reached and not attending a Christ honoring church.

Less than 10-15% of our evangelical churches have a disability ministry or outreach.

Indicators of the religiosity of persons with and without disability are compared using statistics from the National Survey of Family Growth, which represents community-dwelling persons of reproductive age in the U.S.

It is found that persons with disabilities are less likely than persons without disabilities to attend religious services and less likely to report that religion is important in their daily lives.

Although the Americans with Disabilities Act assures equal opportunities in education and employment for people with and without disabilities and prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, people with disabilities remain overrepresented among America’s poor and undereducated.

Some data suggest causal relationships between low Social Economic Status (SES), and the development of disability in late adulthood.

Even with government assistance (which is awesome by the way), persons with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed and live in poverty.

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) estimates that two-thirds of people with disabilities are of working age and want to work.

The high incidence of poverty among persons with a disability fuels doubts about the sufficiency of public assistance to these individuals.

Results from the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) reveal significant disparities in the median incomes for those with and without disabilities.

Median earnings for people with no disability were over $28,000 compared to the $17,000 median income reported for individuals with a disability (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006).

In an effort to investigate unemployment disparities, a recent study surveyed Human Resources and project managers about their perceptions of hiring persons with disabilities. Results indicated that these professionals held negative perceptions related to the productivity, social maturity, interpersonal skills and psychological adjustment of persons with disabilities.

For individuals who are blind and visually impaired, unemployment rates exceed 70 percent.

Among older veterans living below the poverty level, over 50 percent have a disability.

Great disparities exist when comparing the attainment of higher degrees. According to the 2006 Census, about 6 percent of persons aged 16-64 with a disability have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher, while 17 percent of individuals in the same age category with no disability have attained the same educational status.

Lower levels of SES have consistently been correlated with poor health and lower quality of life. The existence of a disability can be the source of emotional maladjustment for individuals and the families responsible for their care.

Individuals with a disability and their families are at increased risk for poor health and quality-of-life outcomes when their disability status affects their socioeconomic standing.

Research on disability and health care suggests that individuals with a disability experience increased barriers to obtaining health care as a result of accessibility concerns, such as transportation, problems with communication, and insurance (Drainoni et al., 2006).

Research with adults with mobility impairments indicates that health promotion interventions targeted at persons with a disability can increase quality of life and control health care costs (Ravesloot, Seekins, & White, 2005).

These statistics show that some of the jobs with the highest concentrations of workers who have a disability include dishwashers, janitors and building cleaners, and personal care aides.

Not only do these jobs typically pay low wages, but people with a disability also tend to earn less than people with no disability. In fact, people with a disability are about 50 percent more likely to earn less than $15,000 a year, compared with people with no disability.

This earnings gap between people with and with no disability exists even if they are doing the same type of work. Even so, this earnings difference is more severe in certain occupations than in others. For example, half of janitors who have a disability, compared with about a third of janitors with no disability, earn less than $15,000 a year.

American Community Survey, American Association of People With Disabilities, American Psychology Association, American Psychological Association Task Force on Socioeconomic Status, Disabilities Studies Quarterly, Joni and Friends (national disability Christian organization), World Health Organization, U.S. Census Bureau
• http://www.joniandfriends.org/
• http://blogs.census.gov/2013/03/14/the-occupations-of-workers-with-disabilities/
• http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2013/cb13-47.html
• http://www.apa.org/pi/ses/resources/publications/factsheet-disability.aspx
• http://www.census.gov/people/disabilityemptab/data/

DisabilityJ.D. Kim