Physically Handicapped in America

Term Paper, 2004

7 Pages, Grade: 2,0



1. Introduction

2. Facts and statistics (USA)

3. Federal laws prohibiting discrimination against disabled
- 3.1 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Defintion of disability under the ADA

4. Facts and Statistics (Germany)

5. Conditions for disabled (comparison of USA and Germany)

6. Summary / conclusion

7. Bibliography

Physically Handicapped in America

1. Introduction

Physically handicapped have to suffer under many problems in daily life. Although there are various programs to integrate disabled people into society, they still don’t face equal opportunities. This sub-culture analysis essay will deal with disability in general and compare the situation of handicapped people in America to those in Germany.

2. Facts and Statistics

One of the main problems concerning disability is that few statistics and exact numbers exist.

A reason for this lack of information could be the difficulty to define what disability in general means and who belongs to this category. Everyone can be concerned, there’s no homogeneous mass.

- In 1997, 52.6 million people (19.7 percent of the population) had some level of disability.

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33.0 million of them (12.3 percent of the population) had a severe disability.

- Among the population 15 years old and over, 2.2 million used a wheelchair. Another 6.4 million used some other ambulatory aid such as a cane, crutches, or a walker.
- About 7.7 million individuals 15 years old and over had difficulty seeing the words and letters in ordinary newspaper print; of them, 1.8 million were unable to see.
- The poverty rate among the population 25 to 64 years old with no disability was 8.3 percent; it was 27.9 percent for those with a severe disability.
- The likelihood of having a disability increases with age. Among those 45 to 54 years old, 22.6 percent had some form of disability, 13.9 percent had a severe disability. For those 65 to 69 years old, the comparable estimates were 44.9 percent and 30.7 percent. For the oldest age group, 80 years old and over, the estimates were 73.6 percent and 57.6 percent.
- The number of disabled have increased substantially in recent years. Today, more than one out of every six Americans is limited by a severe disability.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1996 Survey of Income and Program Participation: August- November 1997

3. Federal civil rights laws ensuring equal opportunity for people with disabilities

In the USA, there are a number of federal civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination against persons with disabilities. These are - just to name some of them -

the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), the Fair Housing Act (1988), the Individuals with Disabilities Eduacation Act (1997), the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act (1984) and the Architectural Barriers Act (1968)

All these laws require equal opportunities and treatment for handicapped people, trying to create a basis for better life. They demand for example equal opportunities in housing transactions and public transportation or specific architectural standards making facilities accessible. One of the most important ones is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which exists since 1990


Excerpt out of 7 pages


Physically Handicapped in America
University of Heidelberg  (Institut für Übersetzen und Dolmetschen)
Living on the Edge-Multiculturalism in America
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
File size
374 KB
Physically, Handicapped, America, Living, Edge-Multiculturalism
Quote paper
Thu-Mai Do-Thanh (Author), 2004, Physically Handicapped in America, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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