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New Statistics Document Ongoing Challenges for People with Disabilities
Friday, December 5, 2014
by: Brianna Gross, Communications Manager

Section: 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brianna Gross, (703) 673-4497,

Arlington, VA, December 5, 2014 – Progress for people with disabilities comes slowly – when it can be documented at all, according to the 2014 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium and Annual Report released this week. Staff from the ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia, the regional center for independent living (CIL), attended the release in Washington, D.C. The University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability has published the statistics annually since 2009. The statistics compare employment, poverty, earnings, health, benefits, and education for people with and without disabilities by state as well as nationally.

In Virginia, 11.3 percent of the population living in the community has a disability. 36.9 percent of people with disabilities between 18 and 64 years old are employed, compared to 76.9 percent of people without disabilities. The employment rate of people with disabilities has seen miniscule change from 2012, when it was 36.3 percent. Furthermore, the poverty rate of people with disabilities in Virginia is 24.6 percent compared to 10 percent of people without disabilities. The disability employment and poverty statistics for Virginia are comparable to national statistics.

“These statistics represent individual people who are not having an equal chance to participate in and benefit from our society,” said Brewster Thackeray, Executive Director of ECNV. “ECNV works directly with these individuals who are unemployed or underemployed, often caught in a cycle of poverty, but working diligently to get the services and supports they need to live independently. This study helps to make the case that people with disabilities need better access to opportunities.”

The release of the Compendium also focused on the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Project: Health and Health Care Disparities among Individuals with Disabilities, which found that not enough research has been done on health care for people with disabilities. People with disabilities are less likely to receive clinical preventative services like mammograms than people without disabilities. While people with disabilities can report having good health, they have worse physical, mental, and chronic health outcomes than people without disabilities. This is often due to lack of access to care and the lower quality of care for people with disabilities.

Please click here to read the 2014 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium and Annual Report.


The ENDependence Center of Northern Virginia, Inc. (ECNV) is a community-based resource and advocacy center which is managed by and for people with disabilities. ECNV promotes independent living (IL) philosophy and equal access for all persons with disabilities. We operate from a philosophy of consumer control and peer-to-peer relationships to empower people with all types of disabilities to direct their own lives.
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