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How Many People in North America Are Among the Disabled?
Disability Ministries may be more important than you think! According to a new U.S. Census estimate, 21% of Americans currently have a disability.

That is a total of 54 million people, and if a proportionate share of Canadians are included, then about 60 million people in North America are in this category.

The number of people with disabilities is increasing. It is expected that when the 2000 census data become available next year, there will be an unprecedented spike in the number of Americans with disabilities.

The Internet may provide an excellent strategy for developing Disability Ministries because a new Harris Poll shows that four in ten of the disabled are on line. That would be 24 million people, and even though it is a smaller percentage than the non-disabled who are on line, these people spend twice as much time on line-about 20 hours per week-and that extra time is spent surfing the web, so the disabled are much more likely to notice new web sites than are the non-disabled population.

Half of the disabled who have access to the Internet (48%) say that it has improved the quality of their lives, compared to only 27% of adults without disabilities.

Why the increase in this segment of the population which has long been hidden from view? "People who would have previously died now survive," says Humphrey Taylor, chairman of Harris Poll, citing dramatic breakthroughs in medical science. "People who are born with disabilities are also living longer."

Trend Analysis Report - (2000) - Source: Harris Poll, www.harrisinteractive.com