About 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. The global disability prevalence is higher than previous WHO estimates, which date from the 1970s and suggested a figure of around 10%. This global estimate for disability is on the rise due to population ageing and the rapid spread of chronic diseases, as well as improvements in the methodologies used to measure disability.
The first ever WHO/World Bank World report on disability reviews evidence about the situation of people with disabilities around the world. Following chapters on understanding disability and measuring disability, the report contains topic-specific chapters on health; rehabilitation; assistance and support; enabling environments; education; and employment. Within each chapter, there is a discussion of the barriers confronted, and case studies showing how countries have succeeded in addressing these by promoting good practice. In its final chapter, the report offers nine concrete recommendations for policy and practice which if put in place could lead to real improvements in the lives of people with disability.