Junior League marks Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Liz Brace shows Jane Burdette, president of the Junior League of Parkersburg, her artwork on the handicap accessible podium created by she and Glen Henthorne and donated to the Junior League by Sherry Dugan, a past president of the League. A major focus of the internationally based group is inclusion and diversity. During the year, each month will focus on work done during the Junior League’s 95 years of service to the community. Part of those efforts have involved Burdette serving on the Association of Junior Leagues International Task Force on Inclusion and Diversity. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The Junior League of Parkersburg is using its 95th birthday to showcase what is being done to improve the lives of people with developmental disabilities during Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, according to Juli Kerns, March Project chairman.

According to the latest Census Bureau disability report, 56.7 million people in the United States have a disability. People with disabilities represented 19 percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population.

Persons with a disability have a physical or mental impairment that affects one or more major life activities, such as walking, bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, going outside the home, or doing housework. A disability can occur at birth or at any point in a person’s life.

Some interesting facts on disability include:

How common are specific disabilities

* 8 percent of children under 15 have a disability.

* 21 percent of people 15 and older have a disability.

* 17 percent of people 21 to 64 have a disability.

* 50 percent of adults 65 and older have a disability.

* 20 Percent of females have a disability, compared with 17 percent of males.

* 19 Percent of the civilian non-institutionalized population in West Virginia with a disability the highest rate of any state in the nation. Utah, at 9 percent, had the lowest rate.

Based on Specific Disabilities there are 7.6 million over age 15 that have a hearing impairment. Among people 65 and older, 4 million have a hearing impairments.

* 8.1 million people 15 and older have a vision impairment.

* 30.6 million people 15 and older who have a movement impairment, such as walking or climbing stairs.

* 3.6 million people 15 and older who used a wheelchair. This compares with 11.6 million people who used canes, crutches or walkers.

* 2.4 million people 15 and older have Alzheimer’s disease, senility or any form of neuro-cognitive disorders.

* 12 million people 15 and older who required the assistance of others in order to perform one or more basic or instrumental activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, doing housework and preparing meals.

Looking at earnings and poverty levels shows $20,184 as the median earnings in the past 12 months for people with a disability. This is 66 percent of the median earnings, $30,660, for those without a disability.

* 323,000 people with disabilities employed earn $100,000 or more annually. This amounts to 4 percent of all people with disabilities who were employed. In comparison, 8 percent of all people without a disability who were employed earned $100,000 or more annually.

* 23 Percent of people with a disability are considered to be in poverty. By comparison, those without a disability have a poverty rate of 15 percent.

When you consider those receiving government assistance, 30 Percent of people who receive income-based government assistance and have a disability; 18 percent of assistance recipients had difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

* 42 percent of income-based assistance recipients in West Virginia with a disability, which led all states. Arizona ranked the lowest, at 25 percent.

Health Insurance comparisons show 10 Percent of people with a disability lack health insurance. Those without a disability were more likely to be without coverage (15 percent).