Statistics Tell the Story of Us

This week we are tuning in to the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium release, hosted by the NIDILRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics (StatsRRTC). The event includes four days of webinars featuring experts presenting web-based tools for navigating the massive collections of data collected by the Federal and state governments. The webinars also feature timely topics like how Federal data collection efforts have had to adapt due to COVID-19, the impact of COVID-19 on the disability community, and disability in the African American community. Researchers use data like these to tell a story about us: how and where we live, our health, our jobs, even how we spend our days off.

In addition to the work of the StatsRRTC, many other NIDILRR-funded centers and projects conduct research using large and small data sets to understand disability and community participation. These data include national surveys and data collection efforts like the Census and the American Community Survey, data collected by the NIDILRR-funded Model System Centers, data collected by insurance providers, and data collected through surveys developed specifically to answer research questions, among others. Here are a few recent examples of studies we’ve covered in our Research In Focus series:

NIDILRR-funded Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Burn Injury Model Systems Data

Burn Injury Survivors May Face Racial or Ethnic Gaps in Community Integration After injury

Recovery and Independence Are Common After Severe TBI

For People with Recent Spinal Cord Injuries, Pneumonia and Pressure Ulcers May Be Connected

Vocational Rehabilitation Services Data

Ex-Offenders with Disabilities May Experience Racial Gaps in Employment and Earnings

Work Experience, Education, and Support from Family May increase VR Success, but Some Challenges May Get in the Way

Vocational Rehabilitation May Help People with HIV or AIDS and Substance Use Disorder Overcome Employment Challenges

Federal Survey Data (e.g. Census, American Community Survey, Current Population Survey, American Time Use Survey)

New Study Finds Rural-Urban Migration Patterns May Differ for People with and Without Disabilities

People with Disabilities May Offer an Untapped Volunteer Pool for Organizations

Insurance/Health Care Data

People with Childhood Disabilities May Be at Higher Risk for Chronic Diseases as Young Adults

Adults with Cerebral Palsy May Have Elevated Risk of Some Mental Health Disorders

Parents with Serious Mental Illnesses May Face More Scrutiny from Child Protective Services

Recovery Is Possible for People with Serious Mental Illnesses

Project Specific Surveys

Urban and Rural Residents with Disabilities May Need Different Supports to Stay Socially Connected to Their Communities

Healthy Lifestyles May be Linked with Longer Life Expectancy for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

Sexual and Gender Minorities with Autism Spectrum Disorder May Face Challenges to Getting Needed Healthcare

Each of these studies answered questions about how people with disabilities live, learn, and work in the community. Many more questions remain to be answered. Explore the NIDILRR Program Database to learn more about current research efforts to tell the story of disability and community living.

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