International Day of People with Disabilities
December 3, 2021 was International Day of People with Disabilities.
I think many would be surprised by some of the following statistics:
2 in 5 adults aged 65+ have a disability
1 in 4 adult women have a disability
2 in 5 transgender adults have a disability
1 in 4 LGB adults have a disability
1 in 3 disabled adults don’t have a usual healthcare provider
1 in 3 disabled adults have unmet healthcare needs because of cost
13.7% of adults have a mobility related disability
10.8% of adults have a mental health disability, which are NOT visible
6.8% of adults have difficulty living independently, which is NOT visible
Issues with access and services for individuals with disabilities has been worsened by the COVID pandemic. People who live with disabilities are among the most affected populations amid the COVID pandemic. Where marginalization, discrimination, vulnerability and exploitation are every day factors for many people, the increased risk of poor outcomes have been magnified with the reduced access to routine health care and rehabilitation services, more pronounced social isolation, poorly tailored public health messaging, inadequately constructed mental health services, and a lack of emergency preparedness for people with special needs.
Disability rights is not just for older people or those in wheelchairs. There are many living with invisible disabilities such as mental illness and chronic pain. They deserve to be valued as members of our society and benefit from the access to care and support that the Americans with Disabilities Act supposedly protects.
Sources: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, IDPWD.org, and the National LGBTQ Task Force