The Census report indicates more than 115,000 Iowans have difficulty hearing or are deaf. More than 54,000 Iowans are blind or have serious difficulties with their eye sight. More than 128,000 Iowans have a cognitive disability like Alzheimer’s or a mental illness like depression that significantly interferes with daily activities.
Over half of the Iowans who were identified by the Census as disabled had a part-time or full-time job. Many who want to work cannot find a job. The unemployment rate for disabled Iowans is 11 percent. That’s more than twice the rate for the general population.
The Census data indicates disabled Iowans are more likely to be living below the poverty line. Forty-two percent of Iowa households that received food stamps in 2013 had at least one person in the family who was disabled.