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Summary

The definition of a disability varies widely between medical, social and legal settings. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines disabilities as “impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.” In this definition, an “impairment” refers to an issue with a physical body part or function, an “activity limitation” as a barrier barring an individual from engaging in any number of activities, and a “participation restriction” is a difficulty an individual experiences while attempting to be a part of a life situation.1 WHO estimates that over one billion people worldwide have some form of disability — 15 percent of the world population. As a result of the largely lacking services for persons with disabilities around the world, those who have a disability are often more likely to be in poverty than those without a disability, lacking in educational opportunities, access to healthcare and employment opportunities.2 Fifty percent of those who have a disability do not have access to healthcare.3 One percent of the world falls has autism spectrum disorder, over 120 million people. One in every 59 children born in the United States are on the autism spectrum.4 Worldwide, it is estimated that 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down Syndrome each year. A range of 60 to 80 percent of children with Down Syndrome also have hearing impairments.5 Spinal cord injuries affect half a million people around the world annually,6 and in the United States alone, over five million people have some form of paralysis.7 Show References
1 https://www.who.int/topics/disabilities/en/ 2 https://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/en/ 3 https://www.who.int/disabilities/en/ 4 http://www.autism-society.org/what-is/facts-and-statistics/ 5 https://www.who.int/genomics/public/geneticdiseases/en/index1.html 6 https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/spinal-cord-injury-20131202/en/ 7 https://www.christopherreeve.org/living-with-paralysis/stats-about-paralysis
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