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National Service and Inclusion Project

Inclusion: The active engagement of people with disabilities as service members in all levels of national and community service

Visit NSIP's sister site The National Service to Employment Project (NextSTEP)


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Basic Facts: People with Disabilities

How Many People in the United States Have a Disability?

Source: U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) - 1992

As defined in the 1994 Census survey, a person with a severe disability is one who is unable to perform one or more activities of daily living; has one or more specific disabilities; or is a long-term user of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers.

As defined in the 1994 Census survey, a person with a non-severe disability is one who has difficulty performing functional activities such as hearing, seeing, having one's speech understood, lifting, carrying, climbing stairs and walking; or has difficulty with activities of daily living.

What Are the Employment Rates for People with Disabilities?

People with disabilities of working age (21 to 64 years old) are employed at a rate considerably below the general population. The U.S. Census Bureau information for individuals of working age in the United States indicates that:

Source: U.S. Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) - 1994

The more recent U.S. Current Population Survey indicates similar findings. From 1997-1999, for individuals aged 25 to 61 years old, in the United States:

Source: U.S. Current Population Survey, analysis by Cornell University RRTC. The definition of disability is based on self-reporting a health problem or disability that prevents an individual from working or that limits the kind or amount of work an individual can do

Employment and People with Disabilities

Source: 1998 National Organization on Disability/Louis Harris & Associates Survey of Americans with Disabilities

Facts About Specific Disabilities

Source: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research - 1996

Almost One-Third of All Families Are Impacted by Disability

Source: 1990 Family Resource Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey

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©The National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) is a training and technical assistance provider on disability inclusion. NSIP partners with the Association on University Centers on Disability, National Council on Independent Living, Association on Higher Education and Disability and National Down Syndrome Congress to build connections between disability organizations and all CNCS grantees, including national directs, to increase the participation of people with disabilities in national service.