Disabled Population

Disability affects millions people worldwide. Among them, there is physical (deafness), mental (depression), and intellectual (problems with learning) disability. Some people are disabled from the birth; some of them become disabled in the result of an accident or disease. Near 10 per cent of the world’s population, above 650 million people, are disabled (Disability and Health, n.d.). The number of such people is constantly growing, and this problem needs a careful attention. This work is an attempt to consider world statistics of disabled people, compare and analyze it, consider state and federal policies, ponder Healthy People 2020 Project, and distinguish a role of nurses in the world.

World Health Organization provides us with the following statistics:

-80% of disabled individuals live in poor countries.

-20% of the poorest people in the world are disabled and are considered by their community as the most deprived.

-every 10th child in the world is disabled.

- in poor countries, near 2 or 3 per cent of kids attend school (World Report on disability, n.d.).

In the developed societies like Australia, North America, Western Europe, Japan, disabled people are treated like non-disabled ones. They have all conditions and facilities to go out, to purchase something or to take a bus. The accessibility is at the high level, and they do not feel uncomfortable in the society. Although, in the Third World Countries, the situation is a little bit different. Disabled people are the poorest of the poor and have inadequate living conditions, education and employment opportunities. World organizations try to change such exclusion. The most important policy document about disabled people’s rights is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Disability discrimination, n.d.). Disability is addressed there as a human right’s problem, so the CRPD makes human rights law applicable to disabled persons and elucidates existing international law about disablement. The most common problem for disabled people is discrimination. Public and private places and services, education, and social work serve “standard” people excluding individuals with various disabilities. Handicapped people are discriminated in such spheres as employment, training and education, provision of facilities, goods or services, access to public premises, accommodation, buying land, membership of the clubs, etc. Recently, a number of countries have passed laws against disabled people discrimination. Nowadays, it is against the law to single out disabled people at work and in education. Law protects even people who are in the relationship with a handicapped person, for instance, it is prohibited to discriminate an individual, because his/her husband is disabled. Regarding the Labor Force Survey, now handicapped people are more employed than in 2002 (World Report on Disability). Although, there are significantly less disabled people employed than non-disabled individuals. Surely, we need a long time to exclude discrimination of people with disabilities, and it is a task not only for governments but for individuals also.

There is a well-known project Healthy People 2020 (HP2020). This is a set of goals that should be reached in 10 years. The aim of this project is to identify and promote national health improvement priorities such as increasing public knowingness of the determinants of health, disease and disability, to set right objectives that will be applicable and achievable for the nation, to strengthen policies and amend health practices, to make needed surveys and data collections. Healthy People 2020 includes nearly 600 objectives and 42 topic areas (Disability and Health). This project is also highly focused on the promotion of comfortable living for disabled people. This crucial problem is one of the highest priorities, because these people play important and valued role in every society. The central goal in this topic is to create opportunities for all people, including individuals with disabilities, to take part in daily life that provides a person’s growth, development and community contribution.

As people are going to improve well-being of the nation, they should pay a lot of attention to nursing care of individuals with disabilities. It is the responsibility of a society to treat equally all members of the community. This means that disabled people should be able to get enough assistance to be easily accessible and to have the possibility to satisfy their everyday needs. In order to promote this plan, many developed countries have already introduced a national disability scheme according to which special training and additional programs were provided for nurses and other medical workers. It has been made to increase the independence and mobility of a disabled person. Nurses are one of largest parts of health workforce, and they are vital for disenfranchised people. They play a significant role in improving the quality of life and care for individuals with disability. As members of the health care team, nurses maintain and promote health, maximize independence and development of disabled people, and help them to take part in social life. Moreover, they can discover side effects of medicines clinical anomalies or at the early stage. It will not only reduce costs to the health system but also improve the level of well-being and independence of a disabled person. Good nurse care can help to improve the health of disabled people and their families.

In order to improve the lives of disabled people, the community should pay more attention to three factors: increasing cognizance, preventing possible disabilities, and involving persons with disabilities into the social and economic life. Programs on malnutrition, health care, working and living conditions must be developed. All barriers preventing disabled people from full participation in all areas of community life should be removed. There should be no distinction between disabled and non-disabled people.

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