• Description

In an effort to learn more about Americans with disabilities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) decided that the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) would be used to gather information about men, women, and children with disabilities living all across the country. They interviewed thousands of adults and children with disabilities in 1994 and 1995, including 779 legally blind adults representing 993,766 non-institutionalized adults ages 18 and older nationwide, and 52 children representing 65,296 non-institutionalized legally blind children ages 5 to 17 nationwide. The federal government, however, never used the data to provide information to advocates or policy makers about the daily lives of legally blind adults and children. The National Center for Policy Research (CPR) for Women & Families used the NHIS data to conduct the first comprehensive statistical analysis of data on blind adults. With the support of the Aid Association for the Blind of the District of Columbia, we have summarized the information into this report. Some of the findings support assumptions that have been made about blind adults, while other findings highlight previously unrecognized needs of this very important group of Americans.