Chapter 1 explores standard of living. Findings include:

  • Adults with disabilities are more likely to live in low income: 14.2% of adults with disabilities live in low-income families, compared to 10.1% of adults without disabilities.
  • Adults with disabilities earn less than adults without disabilities: the average employment income for working-age adults with disabilities is $29,393, which is 22.5% lower than the average of $37,944 for working-age adults without disabilities.
  • 9.9% of adults with disabilities live in “inadequate homes,” that is, homes that are in need of major repairs, compared to 6.4% of adults without disabilities.

Chapter 2 examines access to health care services and to health-related aids and devices. Findings include:

  • 32.3% of adults with disabilities visit a physician at least once a month.
  • 24.3% of adults with disabilities who visited a health professional in 2005–2006 had out-of-pocket expenses for these visits. Adults with severe to very severe disabilities spend about 50% more on their visits to health professionals than those with mild to moderate disabilities.
  • 12.9% of adults with disabilities have unmet needs for medication due to cost. Among those with very severe disabilities, this percentage is 23.8%.

Chapter 3 looks at learning experiences from early childhood through to adulthood. Findings include:

  • Many older children with disabilities (68.5%) often or almost always look forward to attending school. Of the 16.4% who rarely or almost never look forward to attending school, 56.2% have severe to very severe disabilities.
  • 56.3% of youth with disabilities attend school, college or university. Most (89.8%) of them are enrolled as full-time students. Of the remaining 10.2% enrolled as part-time students, 50.9% are studying part time because of their disabilities.
  • 28.2% of younger and older working-age adults with disabilities have gone back to school for retraining because of their disabilities. Adults who first experienced their disabilities between ages 25 and 34 are most likely to have gone back to school for retraining (38.5%), whereas adults who developed their disabilities between ages 45 and 64 are least likely to have done so (21.9%).

Chapter 4 explores employment equity experiences, participation in the labour market and workplace needs for people with disabilities. Findings include:

  • Adults with disabilities are over-represented in the federal public service and under-represented in other regulated sectors of employment.
  • Almost half (48.9%) of adults with disabilities are doing the same work as they were doing before they developed their disabilities. Of those who are doing different work after acquiring their disabilities, 77.5% attribute their change in work responsibilities to their disabilities.
  • 74.7% of employed adults with disabilities have informed their employers of their disabilities.
  • 26.1% of unemployed adults with disabilities perceive that they have been refused jobs because of their disabilities.

Chapter 5 looks at community involvement. Findings include:

  • 34.4% of adults with disabilities participated in unpaid volunteer activities in 2005–2006. Of those who participated, 54.5% had the opportunity to help organize or supervise activities.
  • Among adults of similar ages, adults with disabilities had slightly lower voter participation rates in the last federal election than adults without disabilities.
  • Adults with disabilities are more likely to participate in smaller-scale recreational activities such as visiting friends and exercising than in activities such as attending community events or visiting museums, libraries, or national or provincial parks.
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