Screen Readers Skip to Content
Tweet Facebook

Disability in America Infographic

Author: BraunAbility

Published: 2011-12-01 : (Rev. 2017-06-25)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Infographic examines the subject of disability in America and highlights some of the obstacles that disabled Americans face on a daily basis.

Main Digest

Disabilities affect Americans of all walks of life - from famous Hollywood stars to small town military heroes.

In fact, some 54 million Americans - a full 19 percent of the non-institutionalized population - suffer from a physical or cognitive disability. This infographic examines the subject of disability in America and highlights some of the obstacles that disabled Americans face on a daily basis.

One obstacle area involves transportation. Millions of Americans use a wheelchair or a walking aid such as a cane; consequently, getting around can take a lot more effort. Nevertheless, there is some reason for optimism due to the availability of mobility products such as a wheelchair lift and handicapped vehicles like accessible vans. And there are positive trends in public transportation as well. In 2007, some 98 percent of transit buses were equipped with ramps - up from just 62 percent in 1995.

Employment represents another challenge area for America's disabled population. An estimated 14.5 percent of disabled people have been unemployed, compared to 9 percent of the general population. The numbers for people in wheelchairs are even more disturbing. Less than 20 percent of wheelchair and walker users are employed.

Another obstacle for the disabled is education. Some 28 percent of disable people ages 25 and older have less than a high school education. Just 13 percent of disabled Americans over 25 have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Disabilities can range from physical or mental. More than 16 million Americans have cognitive limitations or a mental illness that interferes with their daily activities.

Despite the various challenges of their everyday lives, many Americans are able to overcome their physical or mental disabilities. Famous wheelchair users include former President Franklin D. Roosevelt and actor Christopher Reeve.

Infographic below courtesy of

Disability in America Infographic

Infographic of Some Disability Statistics in America

What the Infographic Says (For the vision impaired):

Disability in America:

54 Million Americans - 19% of non-institutionalized population has a disability - 12.4% of women and 11.7% of men.

65+ = 38%

18 - 64 = 10%

5 - 17 = 5%

1 million unable to hear conversation.

1.8 million unable to see printed words.

2.5 million difficulty having their speech understood.

3.3 million use a wheelchair.

10 million use a walking aid (cane, crutches, walker)

16.1 million have limitations in cognitive functioning or mental illness that interfere with daily activities.

In 2007 98% of transit buses were ramp-equipped. Up from 65% in 1995.


13% of people 25+ with a disability (1.8% of mobility device users) have a bachelors degree or higher.

28% of people 25+ with a disability (10.9% of mobility device users) have less than a high school education.


21.9 million veterans in the U.S. in 2009.

5.5 million with a disability.

3.3 million service related disability.

652,000 service related disability rated higher than 70% on the compensation scale.


Famous wheelchair users include President Franklin D. Roosevelt, actor Christopher Reeve, and scientist Stephen Hawking.

Related Documents


Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.