Around 1 billion people or 15 percent of the global population experience a disability and this is rising due to population ageing and chronic health conditions according to the first ever World report on disability undertaken jointly by the World Health Organization and the World Bank.
Included in these figures are around 95 million children who have a disability with about 13 million of these suffering severe disabilities.
The report notes that people with disabilities struggle with everyday activities. Even in high-income countries, between 20% and 40% of people with disabilities struggle with everyday activities while in the United States 70% of adults with disabilities still need to rely on family and friends for assistance with normal daily activities.
People are disabled by society, not just by their bodies, says the WHO, but it does highlight actions that can be undertaken to overcome barriers. The report certainly makes for sobering reading and is available at: http://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/en/index.html