Group of people of various cultural backgrounds and of various abilities using a variety of assistive devicesThe first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability.

People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish. The report ends with a concrete set of recommended actions for governments and their partners.

This pioneering World report on disability will make a significant contribution to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the intersection of public health, human rights and development, the report is set to become a "must have" resource for policy-makers, service providers, professionals, and advocates for people with disabilities and their families.

About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. The global disability prevalence is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10%. This global estimate for disability is on the rise due to population ageing and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.

The first ever WHO/World Bank World report on disability reviews evidence about the situation of people with disabilities around the world. Following chapters on understanding disability and measuring disability, the report contains topic-specific chapters on health; rehabilitation; assistance and support; enabling environments; education; and employment. Within each chapter, there is a discussion of the barriers confronted, and case studies showing how countries have succeeded in addressing these by promoting good practice. In its final chapter, the report offers nine concrete recommendations for policy and practice which if put in place could lead to real improvements in the lives of people with disability.

Reprinted from: World Health Organization

Full 349-page Report

Summary 24-page Document

Easy Read Accessible 36-page Report

Disability & Health Fact Sheet

Press Release

Podcast

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