In the world, 15% of the population have some form of disability, and this fraction of the population experience adverse socioeconomic effects than those without disabilities. The disability prevalence in developing countries is more compared to first world countries. Close to 190 million people bear significant disabilities.
Covid-19 and its Effects on Those with Disabilities
People living with disabilities are disadvantaged in many ways such as less access to education, substandard healthcare, few chances for employment, and high poverty rates. COVID-19 has magnified these atrocities in many ways to this fraction of the population. It is important to put measures to specifically single out these people to help them cope with the pandemic.
As COVID continues to ravage the world leaving casualties behind, the world needs to give special attention to this group because underlying health conditions leave them more vulnerable. Also, this group is more exposed and easy to contract the disease because there is a skewed mode of dispersing crucial information about the disease. Or even if the information is disseminated, they are not in the right formats accessible to this group of people in the society, for example, braille, print format, sign language, audios, captions, or graphics.
The widespread school closures during the pandemic specifically disenfranchised learners living with disabilities in several ways i.e, they could not access assistive devices, recreational programs enshrined in the school curriculum, hygiene programs, and more.
Other barriers hinder people living with disabilities from fairly accessing essential services due to poor physical planning by architects and engineers designing government and organizational buildings without considering the plight of persons living with disabilities.
It should be noted that poverty serves to increase vulnerability to persons living with disabilities because it exposes them to severe malnutrition, missed educational opportunities, and increased cost of survival.
There have been global championing of awareness for people living with disabilities with front runners being human rights agencies and councils founded to champion the interests of this group of people. While some of these people can fend for themselves and their families, some are disabled and rely on some dependents in all aspects of their lives. Most of these global campaigns aim at integrating PWDs into society and in the workplace to allow them to make a living on their own without relying on their dependents.
Strategies involved to ensure the well-being of PWDs
Organizations dealing with PWDs are mandated to expand and create awareness for the need to integrate people living with disabilities into society and provide equal opportunities for them to thrive and earn a living devoid of their disabilities. Those who cannot work due to their health conditions must be offered a cash transfer system to allow them an opportunity to live decent lives. The World Bank recognizes this group of the population in a big way and has demonstrated to countries the need to involve this group in the workforce. It has implemented a policy that fully advocates for the interests of this group.
As for those who can earn a living on their own, governments are advised to offer incentives, for example, offering them tax-free services or exempting them from paying taxes like other normal people. In conclusion, disability is a theme that cuts across the world, and all countries to date recognize challenges these groups of people face on their day-to-day walks of life.
For more information, visit busyability.org.au.