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A fact sheet giving information about Native Americans and Native Alaskans with disabilities.
Native Americans and Native Alaskans comprise the smallest minority group in the United States, but they have the highest percentage of members with disabilities, compared with all other Americans.
|Group||No. Ages 15-64||No. w/ disability||Percent w/ disability|
|Persons 15-64 years||169,370,000||31,139,000||18.4|
|Caucasian, not Hisp.||127,119,000||23,599,000||18.6|
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division; data collected from October 1993 to January 1994. For more information contact Jack McNeil, (301)763-8300.
Native Americans have significant health problems that undermine the community. *
Many Native American languages do not have specific words for types of disabilities; in fact, acceptance of a disability is related to the concept of harmony within the individual.**
For example, the Yaqui language describes people with retardation or mobility impairment as “not completed,” but incompleteness is not considered unwellness if the condition is part of the person's harmony
* Source: Meeting the Unique Needs of Minorities with Disabilities: A Report to the President and Congress. The National Council on Disability, 1993.
** Source: Building Cultural Competence in the Disability Community: A Resource for Developmental Disabilities Councils. Tecla Jaskulski. National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils, 1993.