Accessibility Statistics

57 Million Americans have a Disability

According to the new figures released by the Census Bureau on July 25, 2012, 56.7 million Americans (18.7% of the U.S. population) have some type of disability and out of this number, an estimated 38.3 million (12.6%) have a severe disability.

Consider impairments that impact accessibility of online websites, applications, and documents.  This survey estimates the number of people with specific impairments as follows:

  • 19.9 million (8.2%) have difficulty lifting or grasping. This could, for example impact their use of a mouse or keyboard.
  • 15.2 million (6.3%) have a cognitive, mental, or emotional impairment.
  • 8.1 million (3.3%) have a vision impairment. These people might rely on a screen magnifier or a screen reader, or might have a form of color blindness.
  • 7.6 million (3.1%) have a hearing impairment.  They might rely on transcripts and / or captions for audio and video media.

For more information, see the report "Americans with Disabilities: 2010," on the Census Bureau's website.

The Myth of the Minority User

According to the Pew Internet Project, survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, Jan. 2011, 54% of adults living with a disability go online.

In a study put together by Google based on data from the World Bank (WDI, 2008) and CDC.gov (NHI Survey, 2008), it was found that there are more hard of hearing users in the United States than the population Spain and more users who are blind and low-vision than the population of Canada.

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