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Disability Action Center NW

19 Percent of US People Suffer a Disability, Census Reports

About 56.7 million people living in the U.S. — 19% percent of the total population – reported having a disability in 2010, with more than half of them calling the disability severe, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 1830, the Census Bureau first asked Americans if they had any difficulty hearing, seeing or speaking. Today, the federal government’s definition of “disability” covers a wide range of physical or mental impairments that substantially limits one or more “major life activities,” such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning or working.”