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CDC’s Partners and State Programs are Using the Disability and Health Data System: Mississippi Profile

October 9, 2023
Source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

[Caption:] Accessible communities make it easier for people with disabilities to be independent. Here, Dr. Scott Crawford is shown grocery shopping in his community in Jackson, Mississippi.

Dr. Scott Crawford, former chair of the Mississippi Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities and avid advocate of people with multiple sclerosis (like himself) and other disabilities, regularly uses data from [the Disability and Health Data System, or] DHDS to raise awareness about the health disparities and systemic barriers that people with disabilities face in Mississippi. As a wheelchair user, Dr. Crawford knows how difficult it can be to find affordable and accessible housing that enables people with disabilities to live their lives as independently as possible and have access to food, transportation, and other resources they need to live healthy and active lives. “Policymakers and advocates for integration need access to data that can answer their questions,” says Dr. Crawford. “They need to know, for example, that 37% of African-Americans in Mississippi have disabilities—the highest percentage among this population in the country—and many of them are low-income adults who don’t have access to the resources and healthcare they need.” Data can be incredibly helpful in allocating resources where they are needed most, going beyond the minimum requirements of the American with Disabilities Act to provide the resources that people with disabilities need to live healthier and happier lives. “It is important to understand that everything I can do for myself is one less thing society has to do for me,” says Dr. Crawford. He works to ensure that people with disabilities have every opportunity to live independently, participate actively in their communities, and reach their full potential.

You Can Use DHDS to

  • Identify health differences between adults with and without disabilities overall and by age, sex, and race/ethnicity;
  • Download data for use in presentations, reports, or fact sheets;
  • Inform partners, policymakers, and communities about the health of adults with select functional disability types; and
  • Make the case for the inclusion of people with disabilities in community programs and services they need to improve their health.

Disability & Health U.S. State Profiles

CDC also has state profile fact sheets that provide an overview of disability in each state, including the percentages and characteristics of adults with and without disabilities. Click on any state listed here to view that state’s profile.


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  7. Okoro CA, Hollis ND, Cyrus AC, Griffin-Blake S.  Prevalence of disabilities and health care access by disability status and type among adults — United States, 2016.  MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67:882–887. DOI:

Use DHDS to help improve the health and the well-being of adults with disabilities in your state.

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