People with disabilities constitute the single largest underserved population in Colorado. In 2016, people with disabilities constituted 7.2% of Colorado’s total population living with a diagnosed disability, though this number is likely low due to strict regulations around access to SSI/SSDI. In 2016 and 2017 alone, nearly 19,000 died waiting for SSDI funds.
In Colorado, and across the nation, people with disabilities are statistically and systemically more likely to experience abuse. Reports suggest that abuse against a person with disabilities is more intense and longer-lasting. The National Crime Victims Survey (NCVS) reports that people with disabilities experience abuse at between 40% and 90% depending on the type of disability. People with disabilities experience abuse at such a high rate due to perceived vulnerability associated with disabilities, and never because of the disability itself. We live in an ableist society where people with disabilities are often devalued, not seen as credible, and many times isolated. Abuse of people with disabilities is underreported, often unprosecuted, and even more often goes unpunished. Click here to learn more about abuse, and here to learn more about disability.