After a successful surgical procedure earlier this year, a 4-year-old Michigan girl with cerebral palsy took her first steps, and her proud mother recorded every "step" of the …
A new study ranked the nation’s most populated cities based on how accessible each city is are for those cerebral palsy and other disabilities, while another study, which focused specifically on cerebral palsy, ranked the top 10 states.
Financial company, Wallethub, created a list based on 25 different factors that cities should ideally have in order for people with disabilities. From available physicians, to walkable park access and more, the study touched on the most important topics people with disabilities face. However, unlike other studies on living with disabilities, Wallethub puts special focus on economics, factoring in things such as personal finance, employment rates, lowest home-care costs, and ease of finding a job.
Economic factors play a big part in how well people with disabilities can thrive and succeed in a community. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that even though there are over 5 million disabled people in the workforce, there is still an increase in unemployment rates for those with disabilities. A number of people with disabilities must work, as social security benefits, which average a little over $1,000 per month per person, generally isn’t enough to live on. The Social Security Administration (SSA) notes that the pay barely keeps those with disabilities above the poverty line.
“At the beginning of 2015, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit of $1,165. That is barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the 2014 poverty level ($11,670 annually).”
The top 10 cities found to be the most friendly for those with disabilities are as follows:
1- Overland Park, KS
2- Scottsdale, AZ
3- Lincoln, NE
4- Gilbert, AZ
5- Peoria, AZ
6- Huntington Beach, CA
7- Honolulu, HI
8- Oklahoma City, OK
9- Chandler, AZ
10- Tempe, AZ
Top 10 States for Children with Cerebral Palsy
When looking at cerebral palsy specifically, and children with cerebral palsy in particular, the best places to live list is a bit different, although Arizona still comes out as the clear winner. According to the University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center on Community Living, there are four key factors that makes for the best place for children with cerebral palsy, which include:
A community that promotes independence
An area that values productivity and social roles from everyone
An area that provides needed support and assistance
A healthy and safe area
The United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) reports in its annual Case for Inclusion study that although states need improvement, there are a number of states that consistently fall below when it comes to providing children with disabilities safe and productive communities, which include Arkansas, Texas, Illinois, and Mississippi.
Other states, however, shined in the latest inclusion study. The following are the top 10 states (for 2015) that provide the best healthcare, safety, social functions, and independence promotion for children with cerebral palsy, as well as other disabilities:
4- New York
9- South Carolina
Washington, D.C. is considered the most improved state. It climbed a whopping 41 spaces from the previous report after it showed a large increase in dedicating time and finances to home and community-based services.
Although it’s apparent that some states do much better than others when serving and providing people in the nation with disabilities, UCP states that it’s up to every state (and its citizens) to ensure that everyone with disabilities has the aid and empowerment needed to lead a quality life.
It is both a duty and a necessity of a civil society such as ours to aid and empower these individuals, who are often the most vulnerable among us, to succeed. We are all stronger together.”