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Section II. Background Information and Methodology

Environmental Scan

Prevalence of Disabilities. The following data represent disability prevalence statistics reported in the American Community Survey (ACS) (Institute on Disability). The ACS is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and provides annual community profiles. The information is collected through a questionnaire mailed to a random sample of addresses. The data specific to disability are based on six questions. If individuals answer “yes” to any one of these six questions they are classified as having a disability. The disability categories identified in the ACS are ambulatory disability, cognitive disability, hearing disability, independent living disability, self-care disability and vision disability.

Definitions and descriptions of methodology are available at

According to the ACS, in 2016 Ohio had the sixth largest population of individuals with disabilities in the United States. Approximately 13.8 percent of the total population in the state was identified as having a disability (1,571,654). Table 2 illustrates the prevalence of disability by age group.

Table 2 - Age of Ohioans with Disabilities: 2016

Age Range Number with Disabilities Percent of Total Population
Under 5 5,039 0.04%
5 - 17 124,463 1.1%
18 - 64 836,051 7.3%
65+ 606,101 5.3%
All Ages 1,571,654 13.8%


Table 3 provides the percent of Ohioans experiencing specific categories of disability as a percent of the total population.

Table 3 - Disability Categories and Employment Status of Ohioans: 2018 (Ages 18 - 64)

Disability Category Prevalence within Population by Category Total Employed Percent Employed
Ambulatory 6.0% 415,800 96,700 23.3%
Cognitive 5.4% 377,800 110,300 29.2%
Independent Living 4.3% 302,600 53,900 17.8%
Hearing 2.2% 154,600 75,900 49.1%
Self-Care 2.1% 146,700 21,300 14.5%
Vision 2.1% 145,500 63,500 43.6%


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