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In total, 431 people started the survey and 417 finished it, for a completion rate of 97%. All percentages detailed in the results section were calculated individually for each question to account for questions that may have been skipped or not appropriate for the person taking the survey.

For ease of use, the CHNA survey was divided into seven main sections grouped by question topic: Disability, Health and Social Services, Income and Employment, Housing and Transportation, Technology and Assistive Devices, Community Participation and Individual Information.


Of the total respondents, 282 or 71% were told by a doctor or healthcare professional that their disability is permanent.

Of the population surveyed, spinal cord injury was the most common disability, accounting for 46% of respondents. Orthopedic injuries accounted for the second most common disability, accounting for 18% of respondents. Other disabilities included stroke (16%), brain injury (12%), neurological illness (11%), amputation (4%), other physical disability from birth (1%), and other health comorbidities, such as renal disease (1%). Less than 1% of all respondents indicated a speech and hearing disability, blindness, chronic pain, developmental disability or mental illness.

Of the total respondents, 41% have had their disability for five years or more, but not since birth. Individuals who have had their disability for one year or less accounted for 19% of respondents, while individuals who have had their disability for three to five years accounted for 19% and one to two years accounted for 16%. Of the total respondents, 6% have had their disability since birth.

In addition to the type of disability, respondents were asked to describe their health condition or functional limitation. A majority of respondents, 78%, indicated they had a mobility or physical disability limiting the use of arms, legs or hands. Other common functional limitations included chronic pain (40%); cognitive disability (21%); chronic illness or other health-related disability (16%); psychological, psychiatric or emotional disability (13%); speech disability/impairment, oral motor disability or muteness (11%); blindness/color blindness or severe vision impairment (5%); and auditory disability, deafness or sever hearing impairment (3%).

Respondents were also asked to identify major life activities affected by their health condition, disability or functional limitation. Of the total respondents, 76% indicated mobility, such as walking or climbing, was affected by their disability. Other common life activities impacted by respondents disabilities included mobility, such as bending or carrying something (70%); self-care, such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals or feeding (52%); remembering and/or concentrating (35%); interacting socially, such as developing friendships (19%); communicating, such as talking with or listening to other people (19%); and learning new skills or activities (18%).

Of the total respondents, 170 indicated they required personal assistance for self-care. Of this population, 72% indicated family members or friends generally provided this care, unpaid.  Other care providers included paid home health aides (29%); paid family members or friends (21%); assistance paid for by others (11%); and nursing care facilities (1%).


A vast majority of respondents had some type of health coverage, with only 2% indicating they did not have health insurance. Of the total respondents, 57% were covered through private health insurance through themselves or a family member. Other common types of health coverage included Medicare (45%); and Medicaid, Medical Assistance or other state program that provides health insurance for low income families (27%). Less common types of health coverage included supplemental insurance, such as AARP (2%), workerҒs compensation (1%) and long-term care (less than 1%).

Of the five respondents that did not have health insurance, two (40%) were refused coverage due to poor health, illness, age or some other reason, while one (20%) indicated it was too expensive and one (20%) indicated they did not have the proper documentation to obtain insurance.

A majority of respondents (53%) indicated there was no time in the past year when they needed medical care but did not receive it. Of the total respondents, 10.% were not able to receive care because the problem or treatment was not covered by insurance; 7% could not find a doctor or healthcare provider that understands their condition; 7% indicated it was too difficult to get to the doctors office; 6% could not get an appointment; 6% did not know a good doctor or clinic; and 4% could not find a doctor that would accept their insurance. Other reasons respondents could not receive medical care when they needed it was because they did not have health insurance (1%), it was too expensive (1%) or they did not want to miss work (less than 1%).

Respondents were also asked about routine health visits and screenings. Of the total respondents, 71% indicated they see a dentist at least once a year; and 83% indicated they have access to psychological and/or counseling services, if they need them. When asked if they had access to a medical professional for issues related to sexuality and/or reproduction services, 36% indicated they did have access while 53% indicated they did not have a need for these services. Similarly, when asked if they have access to a medical professional for gynecology and/or urology services, 69% indicated they did have access, while 24% indicated they did not have a need for these services.

In regards to medications, 70% of respondents indicated they are always able to get their necessary medications; 24% indicated they are usually able to get their medications; 4% indicated sometimes; and 1% indicated never. Of those respondents that are not able to get their necessary medications, 47% indicate it is because some or all of their medications are too costly. Other common reasons for being unable to obtain medication include difficulty going out to pick up medications (22%); some medications are not available at the local pharmacy either because of medical insurance requirements or because the medication itself is not stocked there (22%); confusion by number of medications they need to take (19%); or coverage of their medication has been denied by their insurance provider (11%).

Physical activity and exercise was also addressed. Of the total respondents, 52% regularly participate in exercise or fitness activities, excluding physical therapy. Of those respondents that did not regularly participate in exercise or fitness activities, 34% indicated they do not know what types of exercises are appropriate for their condition. Other common reasons for not participating in exercise include the lack of the physical capability to participate in any exercise program (24%); no interest (20%); gym memberships and/or home equipment are too expensive (20%); no transportation to gym or other fitness facility (17%); and the facilities near respondentsҒ homes are not accessible or do not have specialized equipment to meet their needs (17%). Other responses include no places in respondents communities to exercise (9%), a lack of time (2%) and too much pain when exercising (1%).

Respondents were also asked about their participation in community and complimentary therapy programs. In the past three years, 13% participated in adaptive sports; 11% in art therapy; 7% in horticultural therapy; 6% in pet therapy; 5% in music therapy; and 3% in dance therapy. Of the total respondents, 70% have not participated in any complimentary therapy program in the past three years, while 14% did not find any of these programs beneficial.

Other findings from the Health and Social Services section include: 6% of respondents feel as though drug or alcohol issues impact their daily life; and 14% of respondents needed the services of an attorney in the past year and could not afford one. Of those that required legal assistance, 35% were for planning documents, such as power of attorney or living will. Other legal issues included public benefits (34%); landlord/tenant disputes (15%); mortgage foreclosure (9%); bankruptcy, debt or bills (9%); lawsuits, such as malpractice (9%); domestic relations, such as divorce or custody, (8%); other housing issues (8%); legal issues resulting from accident or injury (6%); MVA (4%); and domestic violence (2%).


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) was the most common source of income among respondents, accounting for 42% of the population surveyed. Other common sources of income included Social Security Income (27%); wages and earnings (19%); pension program (14%); workerҒs compensation (10%); disability insurance, privately funded or state issued (9%); and spouse as sole provider (8%). Other less common sources of income included Supplemental Security Income (5%); other sources, such as trust funds, investments, inheritance, etc. (3%); parental/guardian support (3%); welfare (less than 1%); and military care (less than 1%). Of the respondents, 2% indicated they had no source of income.

A majority of respondents indicated they were retired (28%) or unemployed (24%), while 16% indicated they were on disability/medical leave or receiving workers compensation. Of the total respondents, 14% were working full-time, 7% were working part-time, and 8% were currently looking for work. Several respondents were currently pursuing educational opportunities, with 6% indicating they were full-time students and 5% indicating they were part-time students. Other employment/life statuses included full-time homemaker (3%) and volunteer (8%). Of the total respondents, 2% indicated they were not looking for work.

Of the 100 respondents that indicated they were neither working nor attending school full-time, 63% indicated they were unable to work or attend school due to their disability, injury or illness. Of those respondents, 5% were working part-time, 2% were attending school part-time or receiving at-home tutoring, and 9% were trying to find jobs or applying to schools. Other reasons included retirement (4%); inability to get to work or school due to lack of transportation, equipment needs, etc. (4%); chronic pain or exhaustion (3%); currently act as caregiver or parent (2%); lack of interest in working/attending school (2%); or financial reasons, such as potential loss of government assistance (2%).


The most common primary mode of transportation for respondents was a friend or family member providing rides (43%). Other primary modes of transportation included driving own vehicle (37%); public transportation (23%); Para-Transit or similar service (15%); and paying for a car service or taxi (5%).  Of the total respondents, 6% indicated their primary mode of transportation varies, and they take rides however they are able. A smaller percentage of respondents opt not to leave their homes (2.%); walk or use their power chair or scooter (1%); or use transportation provided by workerҒs compensation (less than 1%).

Of the total respondents, 83% indicated their current means of transportation meet their needs. Of those that indicated their transportation needs were not being met, 48 respondents chose to elaborate. Of those respondents, 27% indicated they could not get to where they needed to go due to service restrictions and designated stops; 19% said their current means of transportation does not allow them to follow their own schedule; 19% indicated the vehicle they use is not wheelchair accessible or needs repairs; 17% said their current means of transportation is physically difficult to user; 13% indicated they would prefer to drive themselves; and 6% indicated their current means of transportation is too expensive.

A majority of respondents own their own home (52%), while 9% rent a home. Apartments and condos are less popular, with 4% indicating they own an apartment/condo and 16% indicating they rent an apartment/condo. Other housing situations include living with a family member or friend (18%); residential/long-term care (3%); group home (1%); and renting a room (1%).

Of the total respondents, 82% indicated their housing meets their current needs. Of those that indicated their housing did not meet their needs, 61 respondents chose to elaborate. Of those respondents, 79% indicated their housing was not accessible or needs to be better equipped. Other complaints included expense (7%); repairs needed (3%); too large for needs (3%); too small for needs (3%); would like a home closer to family (3%); and problems with the landlord (2%).


Of the total respondents, 31% indicated that there are assistive devices or special equipment they currently need, but do not have. Of those that indicated a need for special equipment, the most popular needs included a ramp at their home or apartment (31%); a vehicle large enough to handle a wheelchair or scooter (26%); lifts, chairs or other mechanized assists (24%); computer/software (24%); railing, bars or other non-mechanized assists (21%); and a motorized wheelchair, cart or scooter (21%). Other common needs included walker or cane (17%); wheelchair (17%); lift or carrier to handle wheelchair or scooter in cars (14%); hearing aid device (9%); and a brace or orthotic (8%). Less common needs included vision assistance (4%); artificial limb (3%); voice-activated control device (2%); guide dog (2%); parking permit (1%); and breathing assistance (1%).


To gauge community participation, respondents were asked whether or not they participated in common activities. Of the total respondents, 89% socialized with close friends, relatives or neighbors; 93% felt there are people they are close to; 73% go to restaurants or out to eat; 44% go to church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship; 62% go to a show, movie, sports event, club meeting, class or other group event; and 67% feel their daily lives are full of things that are interesting to them.

Despite these high numbers, 51% of respondents indicated they do not participate in their community. Common community involvement activities included social activities, such as attending dinners, movies, group outings, etc. (35%); community service and volunteering (33%); attending church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship (23%); athletics or fitness activities (10%); civic engagement or community leadership (10%); and participating in clubs or organizations (9%). Other forms of community participation included educational pursuits (6%); family events or childrens activities (5%); working (5%); peer mentoring (4%); hobbies (4%); participating in day rehab (2%); and the arts, such as dancing or painting (2%).

Of the respondents that indicated they would like to be more involved in their community, 40% indicated they would like to be involved with community service and volunteering. Other desired activities included more social interaction with peers (15%); participating in athletics or fitness (13%); attending church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship (9%); working (7%); civic engagement or community leadership (7%); travel (7%); peer mentoring (6%); hobbies (5%); educational pursuits (3%); the arts (3%); and playing with children or participating in their activities (2%).

Similarly, several respondents indicated there were things not covered in the survey that they would like to do, but are prevented from doing or unable to do because of their disability. The top activity was exercise and involvement in sports and fitness activities (25%). Other common desires included employment (17%); travel (16%); and increased participation in social events (15%).


Of the total respondents, 56% were male and 44% were female. Most respondents were between the ages of 40 to 59 (45%), while 25.1% were between 18 and 39; 17% were between 60 and 70; 12% were older than 70; and 1% were under 18. Zip codes were also tracked, with the greatest percentage of respondents from 191 zip codes in Philadelphia County (43%).

Of the total respondents, 767% indicated they had been a patient at Magee. Of those respondents, 66% were inpatients and 71% were outpatients.