On Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 the NIDRR-funded RRTCs on Disability Statistics and Demographics, and Employment Policy and Measurement in association with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) released the 2013 Annual Compendium on Disability Statistics. This year marked the fifth release of the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium. This year’s release began with an overview of the Compendium by Andrew Houtenville, PhD, an associate professor and research director at the University of New Hampshire Institute on Disability.
The Compendium provides the disability community with access to up-to-date data from various sources related to disability on a variety of topics including but not limited to population size and prevalence rates; employment, poverty, and wages/salary; health insurance coverage and behaviors; supplemental security income (SSI), social security disability insurance (SSD), Medicare and Medicaid; special education; vocational rehabilitation; and federal government spending. In 2012, there were 38.4 million people with disabilities living in the community compared to 274.1 million of people without disabilities. The rates of people with disabilities living in the community have been steadily rising since 2008 (36.1 percent) to 2012 (38.4 percent). Included in the overview was statistical data related to the employment rates of people with and without disabilities. The data indicates that there has been an increasing gap in employment rates between people with and without disabilities since 2008 (38.6 points) and 2012 (40.9 points) despite increased efforts by stakeholder organizations and the federal government to increase employment opportunities and labor force participation by people with disabilities. Increasing employment outcomes for people with disabilities continues to be an overarching theme at the Compendium releases.
The Compendium release included a data workshop featuring presentations by Mathew Brault, a survey researcher at the U.S. Census Bureau the Health and Disability Statistics Branch (Disability Statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau in 2013/2014); Brian S. Armour, PhD at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (Determining Disability and Health Program Value); and Terrence McMenamin, an economist with the U.S. Department of Labor the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Disability Data from the Current Population Survey)
The Compendium release was followed by the third annual Research-to-Policy Roundtable, which included an introduction by Mark Perriello, President and CEO of AAPD. Mr. Perriello was followed by David Wittenburg, senior researcher at Mathematica Policy Research. In preparation for the roundtable panel, Mr. Wittenburg provided an overview on perspectives related to employment trends/outcomes, policy challenges, and the lessons learned from existing research. The roundtable panel was led by Henry Claypool, Executive Vice President of AAPD and included Sharon Lewis, Principal Deputy with the Administration for Community Living and Secretary’s Senior Advisor on Disability Policy; Charlie Lakin, PhD, Director of NIDRR; and Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy. The panel discussed the current employment trends for people with disabilities such as the increasing gap in employment rates; the multiple challenges to promoting employment with a diverse disability population (e.g., disability type, ethnicity, etc.); evidence-based supports to address current challenges of people with disabilities; and the development of incremental policy changes (e.g., moving from single agency supports that are fragmented to integrated systematic supports). Dr. Lakin discussed how NIDRR has moved away from a medical focus on employment to a social/independent living model and how NIDRR has increased the number of employment outcomes priority projects over the past several years. The panel fielded questions from audience participants present and online.
The 2013 Annual Compendium on Disability Statistics and online web tools to utilize the Compendium are available at www.disabilitycompendium.org. To learn more about Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC) and the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Policy and Measurement (EPM-RRTC) please visit www.researchondisability.org.
For questions and/or obtain the presentations from the Compendium release/Roundtable please contact Penny Gould by phone at 603/864-0165 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.