PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and with that, a new study from WalletHub has been released that shares which cities across the country are best suited for people with disabilities.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four U.S. adults, or 61 million total, have a disability that impacts their major activities. And among Americans aged 65 and older, that number rises to two in five. The average monthly Social Security disability benefit as of August 2022 was only $1,231.80. That makes a yearly income of $14,746.44, only slightly above the federal poverty line for a single individual at $13,590,” per WalletHub’s website.
Pittsburgh came in as the second-best city out of 182 ranked, largely thanks to the quality of life and ease of access to family physicians.
WalletHub’s collection of data ranges from physicians per capita to the rate of workers with disabilities to park accessibility.
The website also gauged the thoughts of some experts and got their thoughts on overall affordability, job prospects, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, among other related topics.
“In general, people with disabilities are underemployed as compared to people without disabilities. Stereotypes about people with disabilities and difficulties related to obtaining reasonable accommodation are some of the reasons employment rates remain comparatively low,” said Katherine MacFarlane, Associate Professor at the Southern University Law Center.
“Inaccessible public transportation is also a major obstacle. Owning a car is sometimes unattainable to people with disabilities and reliance on public transportation becomes a major issue in these circumstances,” Doron Dorfman said. Dorfman acts as an Associate Professor of Law at the Seton Hall University School of Law.
“The problem with the ADA is that is completely dependent on private enforcement by plaintiffs with disabilities that need to go to court to enforce the law. The problem is that many people with disabilities lack the resources (time, money, awareness) to do so. Plaintiffs who do are stigmatized,” Dorfman added.