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Persons with Hidden Mobility Disability (HMD) Facts and Statistics

Author: Service-Growth Consultants Inc. : Contact:

Published: 2017-03-24 : (Rev. 2017-10-19)


HMD Fact Sheet summarizes findings from the first round of qualified individuals who completed the online Survey on Hidden Mobility Disabilities.

Main Digest

First ever research into lived experience of persons with hidden mobility disabilities (HMD) - i.e., able to walk independently but only for a short distance and able to stand unsupported but only for a brief time.

Persons with a hidden mobility disability (HMD) are independently mobile but can only walk a short distance or stand unsupported for a brief time without serious health consequences.

Over 2 million Americans & Canadians have HMD.

While HMD is more frequent with aging, people of all ages have HMD and the consequences are similar for all ages.

Comfortable distance to walk unaided:

Walking is more effortful on slopes, unstable or uneven ground (like grass), going up/down stairs.

Comfortable time to stand unaided:

Common health conditions resulting in HMD:

Reactions to a person with HMD walking slowly:

Consequences of walking too far:

21% can't use anti-inflammatories to manage pain.

Difficulties in community life:


Examples of how to improve accessibility:

This Fact Sheet is based on results from the Survey on Hidden Mobility Disabilities, January-March 2017, which are reliable within ± 4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

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