One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability, and disability prevalence is higher in developing countries. One-fifth of the estimated global total, or between 110 million and 190 million people, experience significant disabilities. Persons with disabilities are more likely to experience adverse socioeconomic outcomes such as less education, poorer health outcomes, lower levels of employment, and higher poverty rates.
Barriers to full social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities include inaccessible physical environments and transportation, the unavailability of assistive devices and technologies, non-adapted means of communication, gaps in service delivery, and discriminatory prejudice and stigma in society.
Poverty may increase the risk of disability through malnutrition, inadequate access to education and health care, unsafe working conditions, a polluted environment, and lack of access to safe water and sanitation. A disability may also increase the risk of poverty, through lack of employment and education opportunities, lower wages, and increased cost of living with a disability.