International Day for People with Disabilities

December 3rd is the International Day for People with Disabilities. 61 million adults in the United States live with disabilities, which is 1 in 4 people. Adults older than 65, non-Hispanic Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, and women are more likely to have at least one disability. Americans with disabilities are more likely to smoke, have heart disease, and diabetes than non-disabled Americans. 1 in 3 of those 61 million people with disabilities do not have a regular healthcare provider and have unmet medical needs due to cost of treatment. Access to healthcare is an important part of having a good quality of life, and Americans with disabilities can be vulnerable to the consequences of barriers to healthcare access. More information can be found at the CDC website:

Infographic titled Disability Impacts All of Us

61 million adults in the United States live with a disability

26% (1 in 4) of the adults in the United States have some type of disability, the percentage of people living with disabilities is the highest in the South

Percentage of adults with functional disability types:

13.7% mobility: serious difficulty walking or climbing stairs

10.8% cognition: serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

6.8% independent living: difficulty doing errands alone

5.9% hearing: deafness or serious difficulty hearing

4.6% vision: blindness or serious difficulty seeing

3.7% self-care: difficulty dressing or bathing

Disability and Communities

Disability is especially common in these groups:

2 in 5 adults age 65 years and older have a disability

1 in 4 women have a disability

2 in 5 Non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaskan Natives have a disability

Section titled Disability and Health

Adults living with disabilities are more likely to have obesity (38.2% for people with disabilities compared to 26.2% of people without), smoke (28.2% compared to 13.4%), have heart disease (11.5% compared to 3.8%), and have diabetes (16.3% compared to 7.2%)

Section titled Disability and Healthcare Access

Healthcare access barriers for working-age adults include

1 in 3 do not have a usual healthcare provider

1 in 3 have an unmet healthcare need because of cost in the past year

1 in 4 did not have a routine check-up in the past year

Section titled Making a Difference

Public Health is for all of us. Join the CDC and its partners as we work together to improve the health of people living with disabilities. Promotion of healthy living, monitoring public health data, researching and reducing health disparities, building inclusive health programs, and improving access to health care.]

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