RehabWire Volume 3 Number 1 January 2001

Benjamin Disraeli said there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. RehabWire for January 2001 is all about statistics, a numbers game for the research set.

New Research: Selections from REHABDATA.

(2000) Healthy People 2010: Tracking Healthy People 2010. Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9328. Accession Number: R08048.
Abstract: Data manual for Healthy People 2010, presenting baseline data for Healthy People 2010 goals. For each Healthy Person 2010 goal, this volume provides a statement of the goal, baseline data, national and state data sources, the measure to be used, the numerator and denominator, the population targeted, questions used to obtain national data, expected periodicity, and comments on the objective and data sources.

(2000) National Center for Education Statistics stats in brief: Postsecondary students with disabilities: Enrollment, services, and persistence. NCES publications are available on the Internet at Accession Number: O13592.
Abstract: Document presenting statistics from a variety of sources on post-secondary education for students with disabilities. Data include enrollment, with detail by type of disability and type of institution; availability of support services and accommodations; and longitudinal data on attainment of degrees and persistence in seeking a degree.

Davies, P., Iams, H., Rupp, K. (2000) The effect of welfare reform on SSA's disability programs: Design of policy evaluation and early evidence. Social Security Bulletin, 63(1), 3-11. Accession Number: J40245.
Abstract: Article on the design and early results of 3 related studies evaluating the direct and indirect effects of recent welfare policy changes (welfare reform) on the Social Security Administration's (SSA's) disability populations: (1) Quantitative analysis of legislation affecting SSI and SSDI eligibility of drug addicts and alcoholics; (2) Effect of welfare reform on SSI benefits for children with disabilities; and (3) Effects of replacement of AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) by TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) on SSA disability programs.

Fiedler, R. C., Granger, C. V., Post, L. A. (2000) The Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation: Report of first admissions for 1998. American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 79(1), 87-92. Accession Number: J38559.
Abstract: Report on patients discharged during 1998 from rehabilitation hospital programs in the United States that subscribe to the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation. Includes data on first admissions of patients by patient characteristics (sex, race, age range, living arrangements before admission, and admission source), with detail on Functional Independence Measure admission, change, and discharge subscores for patients with stroke, orthopedic conditions, neurological conditions, traumatic and non-traumatic brain dysfunction, and traumatic and non-traumatic spinal cord dysfunction.

Lakin, K. C., Prouty, R., Polister, B., Anderson, L. (2000) Over three quarters of all residential service recipients in community settings as of June 1999. Mental Retardation, 38(4), 378-379. University of Minnesota. Accession Number: J40251.
Abstract: Article presenting data on the size of residential settings where persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MR/DD) live as of June 30, 1999.

Lakin, K. C., Prouty, R., Polister, B., Anderson, L. (2000) Trends and milestones: Parallels in size of residential settings and use of Medicaid-financed programs. Mental Retardation, 38(5), 468-471. University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration College of Education. Accession Number: J40649.
Abstract: Article discussing changes in residential services for persons with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities (MR/DD) from 1987 to 1999. Statistics are presented on the number of residents in MR/DD residential settings by size and state on June 30 of 1987, 1993, and 1999, and the number of persons receiving services financed by the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Services (HCBS) and Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded (ICF/MR). Related trends in Medicaid-financed programs are also discussed.

Nosek, M. A. (2000) Overcoming the odds: The health of women with physical disabilities in the United States. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 81(2), 135-138. Accession Number: J38594.
Abstract: Article presenting an overview of the health of older women with physical disabilities and discussing how the odds for successful aging can be increased. Statistics are presented on inequities and gaps in general health, reproductive health, mental health, and access to health care.

NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millennium.

Disability Statistics Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, University of California/San Francisco, (H133B980045) led by Mitchell P. LaPlante, PhD. David W. Keer, Project Officer.
Abstract: The Center conducts research in the demography and epidemiology of disability including costs, employment statistics, health and long-term care statistics, and statistical indicators. A National Disability Statistics and Policy Forum is conducted periodically to foster dialogue between people with disabilities and representative organizations, researchers, and policy-makers.
Find out more at:

Center on Emergent Disability: A National Study on the Changing Impact of Major Demographic, Health, Social, and Economic Trends on the Manifestation of Disability, University of Illinois/Chicago (H133A990017) led by Glenn T. Fujiura, PhD. David W. Keer, Project Officer.
Abstract: The Center on Emergent Disability at the University of Illinois/Chicago is a national research effort that seeks to characterize the changing impact of major demographic, health, social, and economic trends on the manifestation of disability in America. The goal is to develop a model of evolving risk and its impact on population change, state-wide agenda formation, planning, policy choice, and implementation against the backdrop of emergent conceptions of disability.
Find out more at:

The Impact of Managed Care on Rehabilitation Services and Outcomes for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury, Mount Sinai School of Medicine (H133G990220) led by Marcel Dijkers, PhD. Ruth Brannon, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project examines the impact of managed care on rehabilitation services and outcomes for people with spinal cord injury (SCI). The study analyzes demographic, medical, functional, community integration, life satisfaction, and service delivery data collected from Model Systems projects to determine how managed care is altering the acute and rehabilitative management of SCI and how it affects short- and long-term outcomes, such as functional status and community integration. Findings are expected to contribute to the redesign of the SCI Model Systems National Database to make it correspond optimally to the organization of health and rehabilitative services in the 21st century.

In addition, each of the Model Systems projects contributes information to a central database. The variables in these databases are designed to answer six demonstration questions: 1) describe the patient demography; 2) determine the cause of injury; 3) establish a diagnosis (including impairment and disability); 4) document the treatment; 5) document the "costs" of treatment; and 6) measure and predict outcome (including impairment, disability, and handicap).

Statistics from the Model Systems

Run the numbers

  • Total U.S. population (Census 2000) 283,409,524
  • 1 in 5 people have a disability
  • 1 in 10 people have a severe disability
  • 194,202,000 U.S. citizens between ages 16 and 74
  • 21,379,000 have a work disability (11%)
  • 12,660,000 have a severe disability (6.5%)
  • 2,330,000 of the population of people with disabilities between 16 and 74 have 4 or more years of college
  • 77% of people with disabilities are employed (compared to 82% without disabilities)
  • 26% of people with severe disabilities are employed
  • About 35 million people are over 65 (15% of the total population)
  • 2% of the U.S. population is over 85
  • 20.3 million families (29.2% of all families in the U.S.) have a member with a disability
  • 2.3 million 2-parent families have a child with a disability

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Administration on Aging, Disability Statistics Center.

Weekly, monthly, and quarterly statistical reports:

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Statistics online:

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The Interagency Subcommittee on Disability Statistics meets each month. Participation in the meetings is open to persons who are interested in disability statistics and issues, producers of products dealing with disability, users of disability statistics, or advocates for disability statistics. Announcements and proceedings are available at