January 25, 2011

Internet Challenges for the Disabled

54%

Fifty-four percent of adults living with a disability use the internet, compared with 81% of other adults.

Americans living with a disability are less likely than other adults to use the internet. According to a national survey conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project in September 2010, 54% of adults living with a disability use the internet, compared with 81% of adults who report none of the disabilities listed in the survey. Two percent of American adults say they have a disability or illness that makes it harder or impossible for them to use the internet. The survey found that about one-in-four (27%) American adults live with a disability that interferes with activities of daily living. Statistically speaking, disability is associated with being older, less educated, and living in a lower-income household. By contrast, internet use is statistically associated with being younger, college-educated, and living in a higher-income household. People living with disability, once they are online, are also less likely than other internet users to have high-speed access or wireless access. The Pew Internet Project report provides context for the continuing conversation about who does — and does not — use the internet in the U.S., including a proposal to extend the enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act to include websites operated by certain entities. Read More