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Document Typology: Report
Methodology addressed by the publication:International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
Title of document: World report on disability
Name of author(s): WHO and The World Bank
Name of publisher: WHO
Language of the publication: English
Language of the review: English
Summary:
The first ever World report on disability, produced jointly by WHO and the World Bank, suggests that more than a billion people in the world today experience disability.
People with disabilities have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the many obstacles they face in their everyday lives. The report provides the best available evidence about what works to overcome barriers to health care, rehabilitation, education, employment, and support services, and to create the environments which will enable people with disabilities to flourish. The report ends with a concrete set of recommended actions for governments and their partners.
This pioneering World report on disability will make a significant contribution to implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. At the intersection of public health, human rights and development, the report is set to become a "must have" resource for policy-makers, service providers, professionals, and advocates for people with disabilities and their families
Reviewer's comments on the document:
Disability need not be an obstacle to success. I have had motor neurone disease for practically all my adult life. Yet it has not prevented me from having a prominent career in astrophysics and a happy family life.
Reading the World report on disability, I find much of relevance to my own experience. I have benefitted from access to first class medical care. I rely on a team of personal assistants who make it possible for me to live and work in comfort and dignity. My house and my workplace have been made accessible for me. Computer experts have supported me with an assisted communication system and a speech synthesizer which allow me to compose lectures and papers, and to commu¬nicate with different audiences.
But I realize that I am very lucky, in many ways. My success in theoretical physics has ensured that I am supported to live a worthwhile life. It is very clear that the majority of people with dis¬abilities in the world have an extremely difficult time with everyday survival, let alone productive employment and personal fulfilment.
I welcome this first World report on disability. This report makes a major contribution to our understanding of disability and its impact on individuals and society. It highlights the different barriers that people with disabilities face - attitudinal, physical, and financial. Addressing these barriers is within our reach.
In fact we have a moral duty to remove the barriers to participation, and to invest sufficient fund¬ing and expertise to unlock the vast potential of people with disabilities. Governments throughout the world can no longer overlook the hundreds of millions of people with disabilities who are denied access to health, rehabilitation, support, education and employment, and never get the chance to shine.
The report makes recommendations for action at the local, national and international levels. It will thus be an invaluable tool for policy-makers, researchers, practitioners, advocates and vol¬unteers involved in disability. It is my hope that, beginning with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and now with the publication of the World report on disability, this century will mark a turning point for inclusion of people with disabilities in the lives of their societies.
Professor Stephen W Hawking

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