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How Disability-friendly is Your Town?

Published October 1, 2015 5:07 PM by Jon Bassett

October is Disability Awareness Month. The personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015's Best and Worst Cities for Americans with Disabilities, and recently released the results.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly five million people with disabilities were employed in 2014. However, the unemployment rate for those with a disability continues to be almost double the rate for persons without one, WalletHub states.

WalletHub compared the 150 most populated cities in America across 21 key metrics, ranging from the number of physicians per capita, to the rate of employed people with disabilities, to park accessibility.

The best and worst cities are listed below.

 Best Cities for People with Disabilities

      1          Overland Park, KS

      2          Scottsdale, AZ

      3          Peoria, AZ

      4          Tampa, FL

      5          St. Petersburg, FL

      6          Huntington Beach, CA

      7          Oklahoma City, OK

      8          Gilbert, AZ

      9          Honolulu, HI

      10        Santa Clarita, CA


Worst Cities for People with Disabilities

141            Rochester, NY

142            Birmingham, AL

143            Newark, NJ

144            Winston-Salem, NC

145            Stockton, CA

146            Worcester, MA

147            Moreno Valley, CA

148            San Bernardino, CA

149            Jersey City, NJ

150            Providence, RI

The full results and methodology can be viewed here.

Did your town make either list? How handicap-accessible do you feel your community is? What are the most common barriers you hear from patients? Leave a comment below.


I am a student in Denver, Colorado at this time. It is a medical career school and yet it is definitely not disability friendly. For instance, the bathroom marked as handicapped is impossible to get into with a regular sized wheelchair. How would I go about approaching my school about making the building more disability friendly without reporting them to the appropriate state entity?

Nancy Olson, OTA - Student, Pima Medical Institute November 10, 2015 12:04 PM
Aurora CO

Colorado itself is not such a good place for persons with disabilities.  As a registered occupational therapist, who has been on disability since 1996, I have tried numerous times to return to work.  The one time I got hired, it was in a lesser capacity and lasted 3 whole months, ending in termination with a gag order.  What I have found is that,, within our own profession, NO ONE is willing to hire an experienced OTR and take advantage of the vast store of professional experience and knowledge I possess.  It is highly depressing on a personal level, as well as highly hypocritical of our profession.  Had I been able to continue to work was an OTR I am positive my health would not have deteriorated as rapidly as it has, and I would feel much better about my abilities to have been a more active contributing member of society.

Kristi Kilker, Occupational Therapy - OTR, N/A October 14, 2015 1:11 AM
Longmont CO

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