How do people
treat individuals with disabilities? Most people feel uncomfortable being a
friend to someone who is disabled. Persons with disabilities face social isolation,
which limit their access to better health care, education and employment.
observance was proclaimed in 1992, by the UN General Assembly resolution 47/3.
On the day, various organizations including the Department of Economic and
Social Affairs organize events across the world to raise awareness of
disability issues. They promote the full and effective participation of individuals with disabilities
‘The United Nations (UN) observes the International Day of Persons with Disabilities annually on December 3. In 2015, the observance aims to end the discrimination against individuals with disabilities.’
an umbrella term, covering physical and mental impairments and activity
limitations. Disability is thus not just a health issue. It is a complex
experience, reflecting the interaction between features of a person's body and
elements in the society in which the person lives.
A total of 650
million people (10% of the world population) live with a disability in the
world. About 20% of the world's poor are disabled. The percentage of children with disabilities, who do not have access to education
variable and is between 65 - 85% in Africa. In many low-income and developing countries, only 5-15% of disabled individuals who need assistive devices have access to them.
Disability and Health
According to the
World Health Organization, rates of disability are increasing due to population
aging and increase in chronic health conditions. Disabled people have less
access to health care services and thus experience unmet health care needs.
disabilities need more health care than people without disabilities. A recent
survey of individuals with serious mental disorders showed that between 35% and
50% of people in the developed countries, and between 76% and 85% in low-income
countries, received no treatment in the year before the research.
countries, health promotion and prevention projects seldom target individuals
with disabilities. For example, disabled women receive less screening for breast cancer
than women without disabilities. Persons with diabetes and intellectual impairments
are less likely to have their weight checked. Most countries exclude adolescents and
adults with disabilities from sex education programs. People with disabilities
may encounter with greater vulnerability to age-related conditions, engaging in
health risk behaviors, higher rates of premature death, secondary conditions
and co-morbid conditions.
Education and Employment Issues of People with
against people with disabilities includes inequitable access to educational
programs and employment programs. Barriers to education can take a variety of
forms including physical, technological, systemic, financial, or attitudinal.
They can arise from an education provider's negligence to make available a
requirement on time.
Majority of adults with
disabilities are either unemployed or underemployed
, despite their
ability and willingness to work in the society. Workers with disabilities face
notable gaps in pay and employment benefits, compared to workers with no
national survey in the United States shows only 15% respondents reported that
their family member with an intellectual disability was employed. Over 5,000
individuals participated in the survey. Disability advocates suggest policy
makers implement school-to-work transition programs, soft skill training
programs for people with disability.
disabled people related to employment include:
- Opportunities for post-secondary education, including college and vocational training.
- Ongoing preparation to promote job advancement and career development.
- Fair and reasonable wages and benefits.
- Opportunities for self-employment and business ownership.
- Opportunities to increase earnings without losing eligibility for needed public benefits.
Millenium Development Goals and Inclusive
The UN has
recently set the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight development objectives aim to ensure the welfare of
people across the world. They mainly aim to eradicate poverty
. A recent report suggested that
the MDGs can only be achieved with the inclusion of individuals with
disabilities. Disability-inclusive goals would serve to implement some of the
important Articles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
(CRDP). The CRPD does not introduce new rights. However, it reaffirms the need
to promote and protect the human rights of people with disabilities
rehabilitation (CBR), a development strategy, is being implemented in over 90
countries to address the needs of people with disabilities. CBR also aims to
promote the inclusion of disabled people in the society. It focuses on four key
development areas - health, education, livelihood and social. CBR can help
achieve MDGs and properly implement the
Time to Change YOUR Mindset and Time to Act
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2015 urges, half of the issues
of people with disabilities can be resolved if the society accepts them in its
fold and stops discriminate against them. People who are not exposed to
individuals with disabilities should realize that, despite their disability, a
disabled person is just like a non-disabled individual. Everyone should ask
themselves, what differences do I have with people with disabilities? Nobody
should be discriminated for something they have no control over. Everyone
should treat disabled individuals with respect and dignity.
International day also asks educators, policymakers, and business leaders to
come to a consensus. Everyone should send an important message to non-disabled
people: please help enable disabled people to be successful and to have
opportunities in life. Also, promote
the full and effective participation of individuals with disabilities in