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Health Reports & Data

Disability and Health

Goal

Promote the health and well-being of people with disabilities.

Overview

This section of Healthy People 2020 focuses on promoting the health and well-being of people with disabilities. The U.S. Census 2000 counted 49.7 million people with some type of long-lasting condition or disability.1 An individual can get a disabling impairment or chronic condition at any point in life. Disability is part of human life, and an impairment or condition does not define individuals, their health, or their talents and abilities.

People with disabilities play an important and valued role in every community. All people, including people with disabilities, must have the opportunity to take part in important daily activities that add to a person’s growth, development, fulfillment, and community contribution. This principle is central to all objectives outlined in this topic.

The Disability and Health objectives highlight areas for improvement and opportunities for people with disabilities to:

  • Be included in public health activities.
  • Receive well-timed interventions and services.
  • Interact with their environment without barriers.
  • Participate in everyday life activities.

Without these opportunities, people with disabilities will continue to experience health disparities, compared to the general population. The 2020 objectives were developed with extensive input from disability communities, and this partnership between the public health and disability communities must continue over the decade in order to meet the Healthy People 2020 objectives.

Why is Disability and Health Important?

The largest set of U.S. health data for people with disabilities, DATA2010, measures health at the population level.2 These data highlight improvements in health over the previous decade and clearly reveal specific health disparities for people with disabilities. Compared with people without disabilities, people with disabilities are more likely to:

  • Experience difficulties or delays in getting the health care they need.
  • Not have had an annual dental visit.
  • Not have had a mammogram in past 2 years.
  • Not have had a Pap test within the past 3 years.
  • Not engage in fitness activities.
  • Use tobacco.
  • Be overweight or obese.
  • Have high blood pressure.
  • Experience symptoms of psychological distress.
  • Receive less social-emotional support.
  • Have lower employment rates.

Additional Resources

HP2020’s National Objectives for Disability and Health
HHDW Reports on Disability

References

  1. Waldrop J, Stern SM. Disability status: 2000 [Census 2000 brief]. Washington: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau; 2003 Mar.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics. DATA 2010 [Internet database]. Hyattsville, MD: CDC; 2010 [cited 2010 Sep 30]. Available from CDC Wonder.
ID
OBJECTIVES AND SUB-OBJECTIVES

DH-2
Increase the number of Tribes, States, and the District of Columbia that have public health surveillance and health promotion programs for people with disabilities and caregivers.
State Indicator Definition:
The target is met if the state identifies caregivers in a statewide public health surveillance system. The following question identifying caregivers is included in the Hawaii Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: ‘People may provide regular care or assistance to a friend or family member who has a health problem, long-term illness, or disability. During the past month, did you provide any such care or assistance to a friend or family member?’ The national indicator includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
No (2010)

Most Recent State Value:
No (2013)

HP2020 Target:
National: 50 states and the District of Columbia

National Data Source:
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

State Data Source:
Hawaii Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Data Reports:
Not available at this time

State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of children with special health care needs aged 12 to 17 years whose doctors usually/always encourage increasing responsibility for self-care and have discussed transitioning to adult health care, changing health care needs, and how to maintain insurance coverage. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
37.3% (2009-2010)

HP2020 Target:
National: 45.3%

National Data Source:
National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs

State Data Source:
National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, via Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health

Data Reports:
HHM Report

State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of adults aged 16-64 years with disabilities who are currently unemployed and looking for a job. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
7.8% (2010)

Most Recent State Value:
10.7% (2012)

HP2020 Target:
National: 13.1%

National Data Source:
Current Population Survey

State Data Source:
Current Population Survey

Data Reports:
HHM Report

State Indicator Definition:
Percentage of persons aged 16-64 years with disabilities who are currently employed. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
33.2% (2010)

Most Recent State Value:
29.0% (2012)

HP2020 Target:
National: 21.1%

National Data Source:
Current Population Survey

State Data Source:
Current Population Survey

Data Reports:
HHM Report