People with physical disabilities face many barriers to health and independence.

Economic and Racial Disparities

In New York:

  • Almost half (49%) of residents with a disability have an annual income of $25,000 or less.
  • Almost a quarter (22.4%) have an annual income of $15,000 or less.

18.9% of white residents have a disability compared to:

  • 26.9% of black residents
  • 32.2% of Hispanic residents
  • 33.3% of multi-race non-Hispanic residents
  • 41.9 % of Native American residents
Employment and Education
  • 23.3% of New Yorkers with a disability lack a high school diploma.
  • Just 37% of New Yorkers with a disability have a job.
Social Isolation

According to a recent NIH report, people with disabilities experience loneliness at a rate that is four times that of the general population.

This contributes to higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, memory loss, and compromised immune systems.

Healthcare Disparities

People with disabilities get fewer preventative health services than the general population and less effective and less aggressive treatment. As a result, they endure high rates of preventable disease and premature death. For example, while women with disabilities get breast cancer at the same rate as the general population of women, they die from it far more frequently due to late diagnoses and less aggressive treatment.

According to U.S. Center for Disease Control data for 2016 and 2017:

People with disabilities have much higher rates of chronic health conditions than the general population, including:

  • Asthma (16.5% v 6.7%)
  • Diabetes (16.2% v 7.1%)
  • Stroke (6.3% v 1.5%)
  • Cancer (8.8% v 5.1%)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (13.7% v 3%)

People with disabilities receive fewer preventative health services than those without disabilities, including:

  • Breast cancer screening (80.2% v 74.3%)
  • Cervical cancer screening (83.7% v 77%)
  • Routine dental care (69.6% v 54%)
  • Colorectal cancer screening (67.1% v 65.8%)

People with disabilities are more likely than the general population to:

  • Smoke  (27.8% v 13.4%)
  • Report feeling depressed (43.3% v 12.1%)