The World Health Organization estimates that 650 million people are living with disability. A combination of a lack of access to services and societal stigma mean that 1 in 5 of the world’s poorest people are disabled. However, there is little data on disabled people in less economically developed countries, particularly in relation to health. For too long disabled people have been invisible in the policy-making process, and in the design of projects and services. One of the largest and most excluded minority groups, disabled people are frequently overlooked due to a lack of planning for inclusion. This results in inaccessible services, which prevents disabled people from having equal life opportunities. In this respect, the social model of disability shows that it is society that disables people, through inadequate attention to the rights and needs of people with physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological impairments.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol (2007)

Disability and rehabilitation: WHO action plan 2006-2011

WHA58.23 Resolution on Disability, including prevention, management and rehabilitation

World Report on Disability

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