World Disability Day: Sustainable Development – The Promise Of Technology

Today is World Disability Day! The purpose of recognizing today as World Disability Day is to “promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities.” Just like every year, this year has a theme too, which is “Sustainable Development – The Promise of Technology“. 
To put things into perspective, Michael Leavy from Home Healthcare Adaptations has created this wonderful infographic that not only shows all sorts of global disability statistics but also features several global leaders who have achieved great success in their fields even though they have lived with a disability all their lives.
Today, and every day, Assistive Technology Blog strives to encourage everyone to think out of the box when it comes to providing accommodations for disabled people. The ease and comfort that technology brings is amazing, and the 21st century – the age of the internet, makes access to information, collaboration, developing solutions, and spreading awareness so much easier.
Please click to enlarge the infographic below. (open in a new window. You may have to click image again to enlarge)
infographic for world disability day
Click to enlarge

Content of infographic:
“Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.”
1. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure.
2. An activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action.
3. A participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.
A snapshot of global statistics:
1 Billion+ people live with a form of disability.
200 million of these experience difficulty in functioning.
The prevalence of disability is on the rise. This is due to aging populations, a global increase in chronic health conditions.
2/3 of all the years lived with a disability in low and middle income countries are due to chronic diseases.
Issues facing the disabled vs. the non-disabled:
Issue: Employment
Disabled: The rate is lower for men at 53% and women at 20%.
Non-disabled: The rate is higher for men at 65% and women at 30%.
Issue: Powerty
Disabled: In low-income countries they are 50% more likely to experience catastrophic health expenditure.
Non-disabled: The poverty rate is lower by comparison.
Issue: Mortality
Disabled: The rate is 2 to 4 times higher where a disaster occurs.
Non-disabled: Rate is lower by comparison.
Note: This is when people have to pay fees for health care and the amount is so high in relation to their income that it results in “financial catastrophe” for the individual or the household. Such high expenditure can mean that people have to cut down on necessities such as food.
Disabilities in Children:
95 million children (0-14years old) have a disability
The top 10 most prevalent disabilities in children are:
Down Syndrome
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Attention Deficit Disorder
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Cerebral Palsy
Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Inspiring people by profession:
Stephen Hawking, Theoretical Physicist
Disability: Motor Neuron Disease. Almost completely paralyzed.
Achievements: 1) Considered the greatest scientist of the 20th century, 2) Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Tanni Grey Thompson, Sports Star and Disability Campaigner
Disability: Born with Spina Bifida
Achievements: 1), Paralympic and world championship gold medalist, 2) Holder of 30 world records.
Richard Branson, Entrepreneur and CEO
Disability: Dyslexia (left school at 16 partially due to his learning disability)
Achievements: 1) Self-made billionaire, 2) Founder of the Virgin Group.
Sudha Chandran, Dancer and Actress
Disability: Amputee (her right leg was removed after an accident)
Achievements: World famous dancer in Indian classical dance, 2) Bollywood film and TV actress.
Stevie Wonder, Musician, Singer and Song Writer
Disability: He was born blind
Achievements: 1) 30+ US top 10 hits. Has won 24 grammys, 2) The youngest solo artist to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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