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Bright Steps Forward


October 11th, 2016


Stats and figures

Florida's Disability Picture


We, at Bright Steps Forward, are dedicated to ensuring that all children in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties with neurological or developmental disorders have access to top quality special needs education and therapeutic interventions so they may achieve their maximum potential.

But what does that mean exactly for children with disabilities in Florida? We decided to find out – and what we learned from published statistics is a very interesting picture.

Out of the 20 million Florida residents, nearly 13.4% have some form of disability which can be classified in one or more of the following categories: visual, hearing, ambulatory, cognitive, self-care and independent living impairment.
This surprisingly high percentage is skewed because it includes the elderly population which has a much higher disability rate. If we look at disability rate for people 20 and younger, it's about 5%.

What we hope for ALL of our children is that they lead productive independent lives.
In Florida, approximately 30% of all adults with disabilities of working age (21 to 64) are employed and 9% who are actively looking cannot find employment. Statistics also show that those gainfully employed with a disability claim a median annual income of $35,000 – while those without any disability make nearly double that amount. Alas, nearly 30% of all working age people in Florida with a disability are considered at poverty level.

It is for this reason that Bright Steps Forward's educational program emphasizes teaching important life skills that each student can use in the workplace. We focus on leadership skills, telling time, counting money, basic writing skills, maintaining good eye contact, manners, task completion, communication with authority figures both verbally and non-verbally, appropriate calming techniques, following schedules, and respecting individual personal space. Our goal is to give each student the tools and skills necessary to allow them greater independence. To learn more, please go to our website at or give us a call at (954) 376-3911 ext. 1.


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© 2016 Bright Steps Forward - All rights reserved

Bright Steps Forward, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the mission to ensure that all children in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties with neurological or developmental disorders such as autism and cerebral palsy have access to top quality physical, occupational, speech and ABA therapy.