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GCPD > Publications > Hispanic Americans Hispanic Americans

A fact sheet giving information about Hispanic Americans with disabilities

Hispanic Americans

Hispanic Americans comprise the second-fastest growing minority group in the United States after Asians. The number of residents of Hispanic origin increased by 53 percent between 1980 and 1990, according to Census Bureau data.* People of Hispanic origin can be of any race.

What percentage of Hispanic Americans live with disabilities?

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
African American 20,863,000 4,188,000 20.1
Native American,
Eskimo, Aleut
1,270,000 329,000 25.9
Asian/Pacific Island 5,706,000 628,000 11.0
Hispanic origin 16,816,000 2,830,000 16.8

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.

Hispanic Americans have significant health problems that undermine the community.**

              The risk of AIDS among African American and Hispanic American men was almost three times that of European American men in 1989. Nineteen percent of all female cases of AIDS were among Hispanic American women.

             Hispanic Americans are three times more likely to experience alcohol-related problems than persons in the general non-Hispanic population. Alcohol is the most frequently abused drug, followed by marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Hispanic Americans have a higher than average use of inhalants.

Language barriers provide obstacles to service for people with developmental disabilities, according to the California State Plan for 1992-1994, drafted by the state's developmental disabilities council:

             “Non-English speaking families may require significantly more assistance by case managers to interpret, explain, and facilitate access to available services. If translation services are needed, meeting times are generally 2-3 times longer than meetings where one language is spoken.” *

*Building Cultural Competence in the Disability Community: A Resource for Developmental Disabilities Councils. Tecla Jaskulski. National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils, 1993. ** Meeting the Unique Needs of Minorities with Disabilities: A Report to the President and Congress. National Council on Disability, 1993.