This Kansas City suburb is named best city in America for people with disabilities

·2 min read

Overland Park has been named the best city in the United States for people with disabilities by WalletHub, which gave the Kansas City suburb high scores for its low poverty rate and access to health care.

On Tuesday, the personal finance website released its report on the 2021 best and worst cities for people with disabilities, ranking more than 180 cities across the country on wheelchair-accessible facilities, the employment rate among people with disabilities, as well as the quality of the hospital systems.

Overland Park made top of the list for having the lowest share of people with disabilities living in poverty, at 8.7%. That is more than 5 times lower than in Rochester, New York, the city with the highest at 44.9%, according to the report.

Earlier this year, WalletHub named Overland Park as this year’s “Best Place to Raise a Family.”

WalletHub compared the 150 most populated U.S. cities, as well as the two most populous cities in each state. It evaluates each city based on 34 metrics within three categories: economy, quality of life and health care.

Data was pulled from the U.S. census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other sources. And scores in each category were averaged to select the overall winner.

Overland Park scored well for its number of family medicine physicians per capita, as well as having a higher employment rate among people with disabilities. The Johnson County city scored lower for its quality of life, which includes metrics such as wheelchair-accessible stores and restaurants, walkability and share of accessible homes.

In Missouri, St. Louis ranked third on the list, and Kansas City came in 19th. Springfield came in 57th.

Elsewhere in Kansas, Wichita placed 101st.

“When searching for a new home, people with disabilities often have a longer and more complicated list of considerations compared with other individuals,” the report stated. “In addition to common wish-list items, such as reliable public transportation and diverse entertainment options, people with disabilities also must think about things like the accessibility of facilities or even the cleanliness of the air.”

“In 2021, they’ll also need to consider how well the city is handling COVID-19, since they can be more at risk for serious symptoms.”

One in four U.S. adults, or 61 million total, have a disability that impacts their major activities, according to the CDC.

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