August 6, 2012

Disability in the Digital Age

According to a September 2010 survey by Pew Internet, nearly three in 10 American adults (27%) live with a disability that inhibits their daily functioning. The U.S. Census Bureau, which uses a more restrictive definition 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 report disabilities, Pew Internet data also demonstrates (54% vs. 81%). Again, this data parallels findings from the Census Bureau, which documented far lower levels of internet use among those with disabilities compared 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 the population, especially as the peer-to-peer healthcare movement accelerates online. By delving deeper into the demographic data, we now present a more detailed look at adults living with disabilities and their interplay with the internet.

(Note: We recommend viewing the slides full-screen.)