U.S. Census Bureau Honors 25th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)


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Graphic on Services for Those with Disabilities: Number of Business Establishments by Industry
Graphic on Services for Those with Disabilities: Number of Business Establishments by Industry

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, transportation, public accommodations, commercial facilities, telecommunications, and state and local government services.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of this law’s enactment, the U.S. Census Bureau has released a demographic snapshot of the U.S. population with a disability and examines various services available to them. The statistics come from various Census Bureau censuses and surveys, covering differing periods of time.

56.7 million

Number of people in the United States in 2010 with a disability, according to the Survey of Income and Program Participation. People with disabilities represented 19 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population. People with a disability have a physical or mental impairment that affects one or more major life activities, such as walking, bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, going outside the home or doing housework. A disability can occur at birth or at any point in a person’s life.


Percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population in West Virginia in 2013 with a disability — the highest rate of any state in the nation. Utah, at 9.5 percent, had the lowest rate.


The number of business establishments providing special needs transportation in 2012, up 19 percent from 2,347 in 2007. Such businesses may use specially equipped vehicles to provide passenger transportation. These businesses employed 62,221 people in 2012 and generated revenues of $3.6 billion. Employment was up 25.3 percent and revenues increased 31.5 percent since 2007.


Number of business establishments providing services for the elderly and people with disabilities in 2012. These businesses employed 911,331 workers and generated $34.4 billion in revenues. In 2007, there were 20,433 such establishments, employing 621,545 and producing $25.3 billion in revenues. These establishments provide for the welfare of these individuals in such areas as day care, nonmedical home care or homemaker services, social activities, group support and companionship.

For more information and statistics, please go to the U.S. Census Bureau's Facts for Features issue on the 25th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act: July 26.

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Last updated: 2015-07-24 11:18

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