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Disability in the Digital Age

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Pew Internet's September 2010 survey found significant differences between people living with disability and those who report no disabilities.

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Disability in the Digital Age

  1. 1. Disability in the Digital Age A Chart PackBy Susannah Fox and Jan Lauren Boyles
  2. 2. Disability in the Digital AgeMore than 20 years after the initial passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, internet access remainsunequally distributed. Adults living with disabilities do not engage in networked society at the same rateas their peers who do not report disability, data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows.According to a September 2010 survey by Pew Internet, nearly three in 10 American adults (27%) live witha disability that inhibits their daily functioning. The U.S. Census Bureau, which uses a more restrictivedefinition of disability, estimates in mid-2012 that nearly one in five Americans (19%) live with a disability.Individuals who identified a disability use the internet at lower rates than those who did not reportdisabilities, Pew Internet data also demonstrates (54% vs. 81%). Again, this data parallels findings from theCensus Bureau, which documented far lower levels of internet use among those with disabilitiescompared to those living without disability (48% vs. 74%).These lower levels of internet activity among those with disabilities stand in stark relief to the rest of thepopulation, especially as the peer-to-peer healthcare movement accelerates online. By delving deeperinto the demographic data, we now present a more detailed look at adults living with disabilities and theirinterplay with the internet.References:1) http://www.ada.gov/q%26aeng02.htm2) http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Disability.aspx2) http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/disability/sipp/disable10.html3) Table 4: http://www.census.gov/hhes/computer/publications/2010.html
  3. 3. Challenges faced by adults living withdisabilityOf those who identified as having a disability, the % who encounter thefollowing behaviors Living with disabilityDo you have difficulty or serious difficulty …Walking or climbing stairs? 56%Concentrating, remembering, or making decisionsbecause of a physical, mental, or emotional 40condition?Hearing? 34Doing errands alone such as visiting a doctor’s officeor shopping (because of a physical, mental, or 29emotional condition)?Seeing even when wearing glasses, or are you blind? 25Dressing or bathing? 12Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August9-September 13, 2010 Survey. N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906adults who live with a disability. N=2095 who do not live with a disability.Margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points when comparing the twogroups.
  4. 4. The Demographics of Adults Living with Disability 30% of U.S. adults are living with disability; 70% of U.S. adults do not have a disability. This chart shows the proportion of adults who fall into each demographic group. In other words, the middle column shows that 48% of those living with a disability are male and 52% are female Living with No disabilities disability Gender Male 48% 48% Female 52 52 Race White, non-Hispanic 68 67 Black, non-Hispanic 13 11 Hispanic 13 14 Age 18-29 13 26* 30-49 28 37* 50-64 29* 24 65+ 29* 11 Education Grades 1-8 8* 3 High school, incomplete 14* 7 High school graduate 39* 30 Technical/trade/vocational school 2 2 after high school Some college 21 25 College graduate 8 20* Post-graduate 6 13* Household income < $10,000 18* 7 $10,000 - $19,999 16* 9 $20,000 - $29,999 12 10 $30,000 - $39,999 10 10 $40,000 - $49,999 8 8 $50,000 - $74,999 10 14* $75,000 - $99,999 4 10* $100,000 - $150,000 > 3 8* Parent of a minor child Yes 30 34 No 70* 65 Student Yes 15 16 No 85 84* Denotes statistically significant differenceSource: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September 13, 2010 Survey. N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906 adultswho live with a disability. N=2095 adults who do not live with a disability.Margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points when comparing the two groups.
  5. 5. Marital Status Living with disability No disabilitiesMarried 40% 51%*Living with a partner 7 7Divorced 16* 9Separated 3 2Widowed 14* 4Never been married 17 25*Single (volunteered) 3 2* Denotes statistically significant differenceSource: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September 13, 2010 Survey.N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906 adults who live with a disability. N=2095 who do not live with adisability. Margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points when comparing the two groups.
  6. 6. Employment Status Living with disability No disabilitiesFull time 23% 51%*Part time 7 14*Retired 30* 13Not employed for pay 23* 18Self employed/own business 1 2Student 1 1* Denotes statistically significant differenceSource: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September 13, 2010 Survey.N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906 adults who live with a disability. N=2095 who do not live with adisability. Margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points when comparing the two groups.
  7. 7. Personal Health Status Living with No disability disabilitiesAre you now living with any of the following health problems orconditions?High blood pressure 42%* 18Asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, or other lung conditions 24* 7Diabetes or sugar diabetes 20* 7Heart disease, heart failure or heart attack 15* 3Cancer 5* 1Any other chronic health problem or condition not alreadymentioned 35* 10In the last 12 months, have you …Personally faced a serious medical emergency or crisis? 27* 6Experienced any other significant change in your physicalhealth, such as gaining or losing a lot of weight, becoming 31* 11pregnant, or quitting smoking?* Denotes statistically significant differenceSource: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September 13, 2010 Survey.N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906 adults who live with a disability. N=2095 who do not live with adisability. Margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points when comparing the two groups.
  8. 8. Technology Profile Living with No disability disabilitiesHave a cell phone or other device that is also a cell phone 74% 89%*Use the internet or email 54 81* (Have dial-up connection at home) (8) (7) (Have high-speed connection at home) (78) (88*)Have desktop computer 47 64*Have laptop computer or netbook 34 59** Denotes statistically significant differenceSource: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September 13, 2010Survey. N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906 adults who live with a disability. N=2095 who donot live with a disability. Margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points when comparing the twogroups.
  9. 9. Health TopicsThe % of adults living with disability vs. other internet users who have looked online for information about eachof the following topics Living withHave you ever looked online for information about … No disabilities disabilityA specific disease or medical problem 64% 66%A certain medical treatment or procedure 55 56Doctors or other health professionals 38 45*Hospitals or other medical facilities 31 37Health insurance, including private insurance, Medicare orMedicaid 30 34Food safety or recalls 26 30Drug safety or recalls 25 23Environmental health hazards 21 23Medical test results 15 17Memory loss, dementia, or Alzheimer’s 19 16Pregnancy and childbirth 11 20*Long-term care for an elderly or disabled person 15 11How to manage chronic pain 18 13End-of-life decisions 6 7Any other health issue 29 28Yes to any of the above topics 78 80* Denotes statistically significant differenceSource: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September 13, 2010 Survey. N=3001adults for the full sample. N=906 adults who live with a disability. N=2095 who do not live with a disability.Margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points when comparing the two groups.
  10. 10. The Social Life of Health Information Living with NoHave you ever… disability disabilitiesRead someone elses commentary or experienceabout health or medical issues on an online news 34% 34%group, website or blogWatched an online video about health or medicalissues 26 25Gone online to find others who might have healthconcerns similar to yours 20 18Tracked your weight, diet or exercise routineonline 13 16Tracked any other health indicators or symptomsonline 20 16Signed up to receive email updates or alerts abouthealth or medical issues 18 13Have used the internet to do any of these 58 55* Denotes statistically significant differenceSource: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September13, 2010 Survey. N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906 adults who live with adisability. N=2095 who do not live with a disability. Margin of error is +/- 3.2percentage points when comparing the two groups.
  11. 11. Health Care Reviews Online Living with NoHave you ever… disability disabilitiesConsulted online reviews of particular drugs ormedical treatments 27% 24%Consulted online rankings or reviews of doctors orother providers 13 16Consulted online rankings or reviews of hospitalsor other medical facilities 13 15Posted your experiences with a particular drug ormedical treatment online 9* 2Posted a review online of a doctor 8* 4Posted a review online of a hospital 5 3Have used the internet to do any of these 38 34* Denotes statistically significant differenceSource: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September13, 2010 Survey. N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906 adults who live with adisability. N=2095 who do not live with a disability. Margin of error is +/- 3.2percentage points when comparing the two groups.
  12. 12. Sources of Health Information for Adults Living withDisability Professional sourcesWho is more helpful when you Fellow patients, like doctors andneed… friends, and family nursesTimes when professionals matter mostAn accurate medical diagnosis 88% 6%Information about prescription drugs 83 10Information about alternativetreatments 66 20A recommendation for a doctor orspecialist 66 24A quick remedy for an everydayhealth issue 48 43Practical advice for coping with day-to-day health situations 45 44A recommendation for a hospital orother medical facility 67 22Times when non-professionals matter mostEmotional support in dealing with ahealth issue 37 53Source: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, August 9-September 13, 2010Survey. N=3001 adults for the full sample. N=906 adults who live with a disability. N=2095 who donot live with a disability. Margin of error is +/- 3.2 percentage points when comparing the twogroups.
  13. 13. MethodologyThe results in this chart pack are based on data from telephone interviewsconducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International betweenAugust 9 and September 13, 2010, among a sample of 3,001 adults, age 18 andolder.Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. A combination of landlineand cellular random digit dial samples was used to represent all adults in thecontinental United States who have access to either a landline or cellulartelephone.For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that theerror attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. For resultsbased internet users (n=2,065), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.9percentage points.In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties inconducting telephone surveys may introduce some error or bias into the findingsof opinion polls.

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