People living with disabilities require socio-economic and political structures to help empower them to lead a comfortable life. The disabled community has proven that they are up to the task of any form of competition at work and other places provided they are given the necessary comfort and ease of access. Across the US, some cities have been identified as more accommodating to the disabled community through access to economic avenues, healthcare, and a quality life.
Best Cities in the United States For People With Disabilities
Based on the three parameters of quality of life, healthcare, and economy, the top fifteen cities scored between 53 and 65 percent as the best cities for persons with disability to live. Overland Park, KS emerged top overall. They were first in economy and access to healthcare but scored poorly on the quality of life for the disabled. Scottsdale, AZ., Lincoln, NE., Gilbert, Peoria, Chandler, and Tempe in Arizona are the best cities for the economic welfare of people with disabilities. Each of these cities ranked between position one and twelve with the rest in the top 15 overall scoring average on the economic parameters. Of the top 15 cities, only Honolulu, HI, and Sacramento, CA rank position one and four respectively on the Quality of Life. Overland Park, KS, Lincoln, NE, Oklahoma City, OK, Louisville, KY, Irvin and Huntington Beach, CA, rank among the top ten on Health Care quality measure. Disabled people have access to accessible costs of living in Jackson, MS, Memphis, TN, Tulsa, OK, Toledo, OH and Laredo and Brownsville cities in Texas. The highest employment rates for people with disabilities are found in Lincoln, NE, Shreveport, LA, Aurora, IL, and Gilbert and Scottsdale AZ. In the US, people living with a disability receive a monthly stipend of 1,165 dollars, a figure that is barely above the poverty level. The least number of disabled persons living below the poverty level are found in Pembroke Pines, FL, Peoria, AZ, Overland Park, KS, Santa Clarita and Rancho Cucamonga California while in Laredo, TX., Huntsville, AL, Jacksonville, FL, Port St. Lucie, FL. and Montgomery AL, are least charged when visiting a physician. In-home services are cheapest in Baton Rouge, LA, Fayetteville, NC, Laredo and Brownsville Texas as well as Huntsville and Montgomery AL. Concerning leisure, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, Boston, MA, St. Paul, MN, and Chicago, IL have the most access to walkable parks for the disabled community.
The data was collected from the 150 most populated cities in the US. The dimensions covered are economy, quality of life, and healthcare, each with a possible 33.33 points. Each dimension was given different corresponding weighted metrics that are graded on a 100 point scale. In cases where city data was not available, state data was used. The overall score per city was calculated using the weighted average of the metrics.
People living with a disability require more access to physical, emotional, and financial care compared to people with no disability. Employers and government services need to consider this special group of people in their physical and financial planning. The disabled community has a key role to play in the revival of the economy and can only play their part if they are facilitated and supported with the right safety nets considering their different disabilities.