Yesterday, the NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC) released the 2017 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium in a day-long event that featured an overview of the Compendium and panels of guest speakers. The Compendium is a web-based tool that pools disability statistics published by various federal agencies together in one place. Large quantities of survey data and administrative records related to people with disabilities are collected each year on employment, healthcare, education, home ownership, benefits usage, and much, much more. These statistics are used by researchers, policy makers, media, and others to show the impact of policies and programs, to highlight disparities in certain communities, to identify areas of improvement or growth, and so on.
The StatsRRTC is just one of several NIDILRR-funded centers that focus all or part of their projects on gathering statistics and demographics on disability, making these data usable by the community, and interpreting them to tell the story of people with disabilities, their families and caregivers, and the professionals they work with.
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTCs)
In addition to issuing the Compendium, the StatsRRTC conducts research and knowledge translation projects in statistics and demographics, narrowing the divide between data producers and end users. These include the monthly National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) report, which examines monthly jobs numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, webinars on disability data, infographics, and more.
The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (RTC: Rural) conducts research on the demographics and geography of disability in rural communities. The RTC: Rural uses data from several sources, including the American Community Survey and the American Time Use Survey, to show the impact of health and employment disparities, access to accessible housing and transportation, and other issues facing people with disabilities in rural America.
The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Policy and Measurement generates and translates new knowledge about disability employment policy and ways to measure the labor market experiences of people with disabilities. This RRTC hosts the nTIDE webinars.
The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Developmental Disabilities and Health included a study of national health outcomes indicators. The study used the National Health Information Survey (NHIS) to examine health outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities over time.
National Data Centers
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical (SCI) Center maintains the National SCI Model Systems Database, which houses data on more than 32,000 persons who sustained traumatic SCIs and were treated in the Model System centers since 1973. Data include demographics, injury characteristics, and outcomes for function, physical and psychosocial health, employment, and survival. The center publishes annual facts and figures on SCI and assists researchers in the US and abroad in accessing and utilizing the data to further SCI research. The site also includes two free tools, Leading Causes of SCI and a Life Expectancy Calculator, which allow consumers to summarize SCIMS data for selected variables using specified criteria.
The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Model Systems National Data and Statistical Center maintains a similar database of data collected from the TBI Model Systems. The database includes information on more than 15,000 individuals admitted for inpatient acute TBI rehabilitation. The data include demographics, pre-injury history, long-term medical and psychosocial outcomes, and outcomes for community integration, employment, and daily living. The center produces factsheets and assists researchers in accessing the data to further TBI research.
The National Data and Statistical Center for the Burn Model Systems maintains the national longitudinal database of data submitted by the Burn Model System Centers. As with the SCI and TBI databases, the Burn Injury Model System National Database includes demographics and data on more than 5,000 adults and children who have been treated at Model System Centers. Data include injury types, functional and psychosocial outcomes, employment, and survival. The center generates reports and factsheets on burn injury
Non-NIDILRR Stats Sources
Where else can you turn to find statistics related to disability?
- Bureau of Labor Statistics https://www.bls.gov/home.htm (Employment, unemployment, job seeking, occupations)
- Data and Resources to Inspire a Vision of Employment (DRIVE) http://drivedisabilityemployment.org/home (Employment, program participation, state profiles and comparisons)
- National Center for Health Statistics https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/ (Health, injury, incidences of specific conditions)
- US Census Bureau https://www.census.gov (population, housing, time use, economic census)
- Social Security Administration Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics https://www.ssa.gov/policy/ (Social Security, SSI, and SSDI usage)
- National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics https://www.va.gov/vetdata/ (Service- and non-service related disability, employment, program usage)
- National Center for Education Statistics https://nces.ed.gov (Education and special education, post-secondary education)
- Fast facts on Special Education https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=64
- Rehabilitation Services Administration Research and Statistics https://rsa.ed.gov/choose.cfm?menu=mb_research (vocational rehabilitation, employment programs)
- Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Research, Statistics, Data, & Systems https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems.html
- CMS Data Navigator https://dnav.cms.gov/ (program specific data, health care topics, settings-of-care)
- World Health Organization Global Health Observatory data http://www.who.int/gho/en/ (health, health disparities, trends)
These are just a few examples of where you can find reliable statistics for issues that affect the disability and rehabilitation community. The NARIC collection includes a wealth of research that utilizes and interprets statistical data on disability. Contact an information specialist today to help with your search!