Before we talk about the various aspects of accessible content and services, it's important to understand why accessibility matters. Without accessibility, disabled people lose out on jobs, are unable to enjoy hobbies others take for granted (such as watching movies or playing video games), etc. So who is the disability community? Let's take a look at the types of disabilities, the history of the disability rights movement, current voices in the community, and more. 

General Disability Statistics

1 billion people in the world identify as having a disability. 50% of those who identify as having a disability are of working age. Of that 1 billion people, 61 million reside in the United States. In fact, one in four people or 26% of people in the United States identify as disabled. However, not everyone will identify as having a disability. The reasons vary by individual but include:

  • Some people may fear the stigma that comes with having a disability. They may choose to manage it on their own to avoid discrimination, especially when they are already part of a marginalized group.
  • Some people may not identify as disabled as they do not think they are "disabled enough," which is a common internal conflict for people who develop disabilities.
  • Others may not realize they qualify for accommodations or may not want to go through the process required to receive those accommodations. 

Featured Video: "Fighting For Change: How 11 Disabled Trailblazers Are Spearheading A Revolution"

“I can say unequivocally that the disabled... community [has] taught me almost every honourable quality I now possess,” says the actor Selma Blair, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2018, and is one of the 19 dynamic stars featured in British Vogue’s May 2023 issue, which is guest edited by writer and activist Sinéad Burke and celebrates a new vanguard of disabled talent. Watch the film in full to go backstage on the set of the cover shoot, and hear more from the stars, including models Ellie Goldstein and Aaron Rose Philip, and Justina Miles, the American Sign Language interpreter who rocketed to internet fame thanks to her performance at Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Show.