Disability Market

Maintained by Anna Szopa Ph.D. and Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.

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According to the World Bank Report more than one billion people experience some form of disability. Furthermore disability will be an even greater concern because its prevalence is on the rise mainly in developing countries. Disability is not niche market any more-  the concept of diversity including disability has permeated the business world and organizations are placing greater focus on it than ever before.

Moreover, companies that offer inclusive technologies by increasing and improving functional capabilities of people with disabilities are considered forward-thinking and by offering smart innovations to extreme users improve usability for the average users.

Disability market is unique, complex and associated with higher transactions quantity and quality therefore requires research to be understood. Presented section aims at bringing closer disability market by providing reports, strategies, articles and other documents that present status, data, statistics, trends, and other aspects related to disability and also presents marketing techniques that enable implementation of inclusive infrastructure.



World Report on Disability-World Bank

Report reviews the data on disability prevalence and the situation of people with disabilities worldwide, explores access to mainstream health services for people with disabilities, investigates support and assistance services and discusses education and employment for people with disabilities.

2016 Disability Statistics Annual Report- Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics

The annual report highlights state and trend data from national sources. Presents statistics to address the following areas: number of people with disabilities living in the United States, the percentage of people with disabilities in different age groups, the percentage of people with disabilities for different types of disability, earnings for people with and without disabilities, the poverty percentage.

Americans With Disabilities: 2005- States Census Bureau

Report provides estimates of the socioeconomic characteristics of people with disabilities, describes the federal laws that specifically address the interests of people with disabilities, explores estimates for different categories of disability.

2016 Annual Report: The Global Economics of Disability

Comprehensive report presents framework, metrics, and change management required to do meet disability requirements. Includes a detailed assessment of a companies’ performance, along with recommendations for actions that create value.

Disability Employment Tabulation United - States Census Bureau

Report shows the disability status and diversity of the labor force and population 16 and over, is based on the American Community Survey (ACS). Provides over 1 billion estimates showing the disability status and diversity of the labor force, makes available labor force characteristics of people with a disability, with more details on occupation, education, and earnings. Includes employment status, detailed occupation, occupation groups, citizenship, educational attainment, age, race, sex and earnings

Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics News Release-Bureau of Labor Statistics

The estimates in this release are based on annual average data obtained from  the Current Population Survey (CPS). Provides information on the labor force status, demographics, and other characteristics of the nation's civilian non institutional population age 16 and over.

Policy Brief on Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities-OECD/European Union

Report describes disability in European Union, provides European Disability Strategy 2010–2020, and data on labor market activities of people with disabilities and describes self-employment rates by disability status. Provides information about the benefits of entrepreneurship for people with disabilities, the challenges faced by people with disabilities when starting a business and how entrepreneurship can be facilitated with technology.

An Aging World: 2015- U.S. Census Bureau

Report covers the demographic, economic, and health aspects of global population aging. Projects growth and dynamics of the older population. Analyzes health (including health care) and mortality, of the older population, as well as  work, pensions, and other economic characteristics of older people.

A Profile of Older Americans: 2016- Administration on Aging Administration for Community Living U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Report presents the structure of older generation, analyzing such aspects as: marital status, living arrangements, geographic distribution, income, education, health and health care and disability limitations.

The Next Four Decades: The Older Population in the United States: 2010 to 2050-  U.S. Census Bureau

Report presents information on how the age structure of the overall population and the composition of the older population in terms of age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin are expected to change over the next four decades in the United States, based on that data presents challenges to policy makers and programs, such as Social Security and Medicare.



Reaching prevalent, diverse consumers with disabilities-Nielsen

Report dedicated to marketers and advertisers provides information on disability market explaining what drives disabled people behavior.

Disability Friendly Marketing Campaigns

Presents marketing campaigns that target as many potential customers as possible including disabled people. Describes challenges that companies face while they feature diversity and promote accessibility.

Tips for user testing with disabled users

Document provides information how to tests digital products with disabled people. Briefly describes how to inform, recruit communicate and collaborate with users.

Usability Testing

Provides quantitative and qualitative data from  users performing real tasks with a products. Discusses usability testing with participants with disabilities including: planning usability testing, preparing for usability testing, conducting usability testing, reporting usability testing, checklist for usability testing, recruiting screener.

Evaluating for Accessibility

Provides guidance on incorporating accessibility into evaluation methods such as: standards review, heuristic evaluation, design walkthroughs, screening techniques and usability testing.

App Marketing Guide- Center on Knowledge Translation for Technology Transfer and  National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)

A guide to marketing an app for new app inventors- contains information regarding methods for designing the app as well as methods to market the app to consumers, useful during the introduction and development stages of the app.

Role of persons with a disability in the design process. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, Peterson, William

Article discusses the need for consumer involvement in all aspects of the design process, from initial concept to research and development and to influencing technology transfer and marketing

Bringing new products to the marketplace. In R. Simpson (Ed.), Proceedings of the RESNA 26th International Conference: Technology and Disability: Research, Design, Practice and Policy. Arlington, VA: RESNA Press 

Article describes the goals and outcomes of the supply push technology program, which focuses on the evaluation and commercialization of assistive technology (AT). The program pursues alternative paths to help promising prototype AT devices reach the marketplace.


Bridging the disability divide through digital technologies- World Bank

Paper provides an overview of the opportunities presented by the internet and ICT for the full participation of persons with disabilities. Underlines aspects that ICT enables and enforces: education, employment, e-governance and civic participation, financial inclusion, and disaster management. Furthermore, reviews challenges to the realization of ICT in organizations.

Assistive technology industry: A field for cooperation and networking. Technology and Disability , Buhler, Christian; Barbera, Ricard

Article examines how the assistive technology industry delivers goods and services to the client, buyer, or user in the European market in addition identifies problematic issues and market conditions.

The Power of Digital Inclusion: Technology’s Impact on Employment and Opportunities for People with Disabilities- National Council on Disability

Report examines the importance of information technologies in connecting disabled people to job opportunities, inquiries the implications of an increasingly networked economy on job opportunities for people with disabilities. Provides revision of six key digital technologies and processes that have the potential to enhance social engagement and provides fourteen recommendations aimed at improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Understanding motivations of entrepreneurs in the assistive technology market, Technology and Disability

Article examines the motivations and business practices of entrepreneurs in the assistive technology (AT) market. It finds out that a majority of AT entrepreneurs are considered social entrepreneurs and are motivated by social factors such as helping society and people with disabilities rather than profit in starting and maintain their AT business.



Business Disability Forum

Interactive Accessibility

Solutions Marketing Group

Disability Services Consulting