Hispanic Heritage Month occurs every year between September 15th and October 15th. President Johnson made the proclamation for a weekly celebration in 1968 and Congress expanded the observance to a month-long celebration in 1989. September 15 was chosen to start Hispanic Heritage Month since it is also the independence anniversary of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico’s, Chile’s, and Belize’s independence days also fall during Hispanic Heritage month on September 16th, 18th, and 21st, respectively.
According to the US Census Bureau, as of July 1st, 2013, it is estimated that there are over 54 million Hispanics/Latinos in the US, making them the country’s largest ethnic or racial minority. They live and work all over the country; however, there are 22 states where Hispanics are the largest minority group. As of 2007, Hispanics owned 2.3 million businesses that generated over $350.7 billion. About 17% of Hispanics in the US report having a disability.
According to the 2013 CDC Health Disparities & Inequalities Report, the Hispanic community faces high rates of obesity, diabetes, periodontitis, and HIV. According to the National Vital Statistic Reports of 2013, some of the leading causes of illness and disabilities among Hispanics include heart disease, unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s Disease, and diabetes. Other important health issues for Hispanics include asthma and Chagas Disease.
We searched the NIDILRR Program Database for projects funded by NIDILRR that are researching disabilities, health disparities, and Hispanics. These projects include:
- Center on Health Outcomes Research and Capacity Building for Underserved Populations with SCI and TBI. (H133A080064).
- Toolkit of Recovery Promoting Competencies for Mental Health Rehabilitation Providers. (H133G120117).
- Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Family Support. (H133B140046).
We also searched REHABDATA for articles on Hispanics with disabilities and disparities. These are some of the articles we found:
- Has Medicare part D reduced racial/ethnic disparities in prescription drug use and spending? (J69952).
- Comparison of outcomes for African Americans, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Whites in the CATIE study. (J66759).
- Health disparities chart book on disability and racial and ethnic status in the United States. (O18534).
Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month 2015, we will continue to share posts on how disability impacts the Hispanic community and resources you can use to find support in your area.