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The ADA at 25: Disability by the numbers

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

On July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, as well as transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications and state and local government services.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ADA’s enactment, here’s a look at some of the hard numbers that define disability at work, as compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

56.7 million

Number of people in the United States with a disability, according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation.


Percentage of U.S. citizens with an ADA-covered disability.


Median earnings in the past 12 months for people with a disability.


Percentage of disabled employees’ median earnings, compared to the nationwide median of $30,928.

30.6 million

Number of people 15 and older who have a movement impairment, such as walking or climbing stairs.

8.1 million

Number of people 15 and older with a vision impairment.

7.6 million

Number of people 15 and older who have a hearing impairment.

3.6 million

Number of people 15 and older who use a wheelchair.

4 million

Yearly visits to the website of the Job Accommodation Network (askjan.org), which provides free, expert and confidential guidance to individuals and employers seeking information on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. The Job Accommodation Network is a service of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

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