Press Release Health and Social Programs Inequality

The ADA and the Intersection of Race, Age, and Disability

07/23/2020 12:00am

Contact: Karen Conner, 202-281-4159Mail_Outline

Washington DC — Disability rates for White and Black people of both genders are roughly the same for young adults (18 to 34-year-olds). Although disabilities increase with age across races and genders, a new analysis from CEPR indicates that disability increases are much larger for Black people of both genders than for White people of both genders.

In the 55 to 64 age range, nearly 30 percent of Black people have one or more disabilities, compared to about 20 percent of White people in the same age range. 

Among people with disabilities, there is also a racial gap in material hardships, including food insecurity. About 40 percent of Black disabled adults were food insecure compared to about 22 percent of White disabled adults.

“As the ADA turns 30, it’s important to acknowledge the role it plays in addressing the accumulated injustices and discrimination of people with disabilities,” says the author of the analysis, CEPR Senior Policy Fellow Shawn Fremstad. “However, closing the racial disability gaps will take a wide range of fundamental reforms that go far beyond the ADA.”

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