Agency reports 20 percent of all Americans have a disability

Michigan residents may know that a disability doesn’t have to keep an individual from working. They may know many fellow workers that continue to work every day despite suffering from some type of chronic condition. Now a new report indicates that a sizeable percentage of Americans are living each day with some type of disability.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has just released a report that reveals that one in five American adults have at least one kind of disability. This means that at least 53 million Americans fall into this category. The study is based on data from 2013, and was released just days after the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prevents workplace discrimination because of a person’s disability.

According to the authors, a disability is difficulty in one or more of five areas including vision, mobility, self-care, independent living and cognition. The researchers defined vision disability as either blindness or difficulty seeing with glasses. A self-care disability meant that someone needed help dressing or washing themselves. A mobility disability meant that the individual had trouble climbing stairs.

The researchers found that many Southern states had higher rates of disability than many Northern states. Some Northern and Midwestern states had half the disability rate of some Southern states. However, the state of Michigan had a disability rate that was as high as some of the Southern states.

This new information shines a light on an important aspect for many Michigan workers. Any resident who is suffering from either a temporary disability such as a back injury or a permanent disability may want to speak with an attorney with experience in disabilities in order to fully understand the legal options that are available to them.

Source: USA Today, “CDC: 1 in 5 American adults live with a disability,” Jennifer Calfas, July 31, 2015