More than one billion people in the world live with some form of disability, of whom nearly 200 million experience considerable difficulties in functioning. In the years ahead, disability will be an even greater concern because its prevalence is on the rise. This is due to ageing populations and the higher risk of disability in older people as well as the global increase in chronic health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and mental health disorders.
Disability is part of the human condition – almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life, and those who survive to old age will experience increasing difficulties in functioning. Disability is complex, and the interventions to overcome the disadvantages associated with disability are multiple and systemic – varying with the context.
Problems with service delivery:
Poor coordination of services, inadequate staffing, and weak staff competencies can affect the quality, accessibility, and adequacy of services for persons with disabilities.
People with disabilities were more than twice as likely to report finding health care provider skills inadequate to meet their needs, four times more likely to be treated badly and nearly three times more likely to be denied needed health care.
Many personal support workers are poorly paid and have inadequate training.
A study in the United States of America found that 80% of social care workers had no formal qualifications or training
Resources allocated to implementing policies and plans are often inadequate. The lack of effective financing is a major obstacle to sustainable services across all income settings. In high-income countries, between 20% and 40% of people with disabilities generally do not have their needs met for assistance with everyday activities
Inadequate policies and standards:
Policy design does not always take into account the needs of people with disabilities, or existing policies and standards are not enforced
Beliefs and prejudices constitute barriers to education, employment, health care, and social participation. For example, the attitudes of teachers, school administrators, other children, and even family members affect the inclusion of children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Misconceptions by employers that people with disabilities are less productive than their non-disabled counterparts, and ignorance about available adjustments to work arrangements limits employment opportunities.
Lack of provision of services:
People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to deficiencies in services such as health care, rehabilitation, and support and assistance
Poorer health outcomes:
Increasing evidence suggests that people with disabilities experience poorer levels of health than the general population. Depending on the group and setting, persons with disabilities may experience greater vulnerability to preventable secondary conditions, co-morbidities, and age-related conditions. Some studies have also indicated that people with disabilities have higher rates of risky behaviours such as smoking, poor diet and physical inactivity. People with disabilities also have a higher risk of being exposed to violence.
Full Report - 300 pages - 3.9MB LINK
Report Summary - 24 pages - 1.2MB LINK