Households with a member with a disability have 36% less income than those without.

When looking at data from, organized by Cornell University from the American Community Survey, we concluded that…

Households with a working-age adult with a disability have an average of 36% less income than households without a member with a disability.

How so?

According to the data from, the average income of households without a member with a disability in 2017 was $71,000. The average income of households with a working-age member with a disability in 2017 was $45,500. The difference is 36%.

What does this imply?

This means that if there is someone in a household who experiences life differently due to human impairments, then statistically speaking, their income will be lower than their typically-abled peers.

Chances are also good that they will have more expenses due to potential supplies, equipment, medical needs/appointments, etc. This makes it even more difficult to secure housing in general, and accessible housing at that! Many people are having to make compromises on where they live based on what’s available for their income, often compromising on what’s ideal for their physical and mental health.

What can communities do?

Community planners, builders, and designers must consider the affordability and functionality of new homes. It’s one thing to build functional homes, but if they’re unaffordable to most of the population affected by disability, then we aren’t helping our neighbors have access to housing that improves their lives and helps individuals with disabilities be vital parts of our communities.

It isn’t just putting a few accessible options here and there, either. It’s making sure we provide a wide variety of options for people in different neighborhoods, complexes, and housing styles. The use of universal design is a win-win for so many people.

But these homes have to be financially accessible, too.


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