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Friday, June 10, 2011

An International Report on Disability

More than 1 billion people around the world live with disabilities, according to a new report offering the first look in 40 years at the global prevalence of disabilities.

The findings presented Thursday come from a report produced by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. It shows that about 15 percent of the world’s population have disabilities and that number is on the rise due to aging and growth in chronic health conditions.

What’s more, of those living with disabilities, between 110 and 190 million are believed to experience significant functioning difficulties.

Disabilities are more common in poor countries and among women, older individuals and people living in low-income households, the report found.

The report has relatively little to say about autism in particular, however. Here is the longest such passage, from pp. 120-121 of the report:

New Zealand’s pioneering Autistic Spectrum Disorder Guidelines, developed in response to gaps in service, provide a good example of the evidence-based approach. The guidelines cover identification and diagnosis of conditions, and discuss access to interventions and services (271). A wide range of stakeholders were involved in developing the guidelines, including people with autism, parents of children with autism, medical, educational, and community providers, and researchers from New Zealand and elsewhere, with particular attention to the perspectives and experiences of Māori and Pacific people. As a result of these guidelines, proven programmes have been scaled-up, increasing numbers of people trained in assessment and diagnosis of autism, and increasing numbers of people enquiring about and receiving information on the condition. A range of programmes to help support families of people with disabilities have also
been started (272). Guidelines developed for one setting may need adaptation for implementation in another setting.