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Disability Status

Variable Definitions:
Disability Status: The percentage of the population that has serious difficulty with hearing, vision, cognition or ambulation; or who reports having difficulty bathing/dressing or performing errands such as shopping 

American Community Survey (ACS), 5-year estimates, Table B18101 

Years Available*:
2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022

*Note: Each year of available data shown above is a 5-year estimate, or an average of data collected over a five year period. 5-year estimates are used to increase the reliability of the data at small geographies like neighborhoods and census tracts. The years shown on the NDSC map represent the final year of the five year average (e.g. “2010” represents 2006-2010 data, “2011” represents 2007-2011 data, and so on). For the most impactful comparison of data over time, the ACS recommends comparing non-overlapping years (e.g. 2010-14 with 2015-19).

Why are these variables important to measure?

Disability Status
The American Community Survey defines a disability as having serious difficulty with hearing, vision, cognition and ambulation, or with tasks such as bathing and dressing or errands like shopping. However, disability is a dynamic concept that can change based on technological advances, social structures and an individual’s health. Understanding the portion of the population that has a disability is important for federal government agencies to distribute funds and develop programs and policies for people with disabilities.  For example, the Americans with Disabilities Act uses data about functional limitations to ensure that all people have access to resources like public transportation, regardless of disability status. 

American Community Survey. 2017 Subject Definitions.

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