Within the EU member states alone there are approximately 739million people. Approximately 7.5 million of these people have a disability.
We have created an infographic for your consideration which highlights the main points within this blog.
The need to continuously address the awareness of disabled people and in particular disabled accessibility has never been more prevalent. The statistics below give some indication as to the percentage of people in the UK and Ireland with disabilities.
- There are over 6.9 million disabled people of working age which represents 19% of the working population
- There are over 10 million disabled people in the UK and Ireland, of whom 5 million are over state pension age
- There are two million people with sight problems in the UK and Ireland.
- There are over 770,000 disabled children under the age of 16 in the UK and Ireland. That equates to 1 child in 20
- There are currently 1.3 million disabled people in the UK who are available for and want to work.
Recent Disabled Access Reports
Recent reports have found that the lack of disabled access is still quite prevalent across the UK and Ireland. It was exposed early last week that the UK’s Crossrail project, costing in excess of £14 billion, will not be fully accessible to those who are disabled.
Several Government buildings, one UK building in particular which belongs to the Department of Work and Pensions, have also come under the spotlight recently after it emerged that the access to these buildings was well below the legal standard required of these structures under the Equality Act 2010.
While most won’t even bat an eyelid at things like narrow doorways, steps, cracked footpaths, little to no disabled parking or lift access, the severe lack of disabled access across both Ireland and the UK poses many problems for both disabled adults and children alike.
The lack of disabled access prevents those who are disabled from completing even the most ordinary of tasks. For example, taking certain train routes, from attaining medical treatment, from working and in certain cases, from receiving an education.
If we look more in depth at the figures above, 1 in every 20 children is disabled within the UK and Ireland. These children do not have the same privileges with regard to access that we enjoy and take for granted each and every day. Children throughout both the UK and Ireland face regular difficulties with regard to accessing school, medical facilities, playgrounds, toy stores, certain neighbourhoods where their friends might be frequent, the list goes on!
They are discriminated against on a regular basis and denied their right to equality under the equality act of 2010 with regard to public access.
Children are not the only ones who are affected. If we look at another of the figures above, over 1.3 million people are disabled and willing to work throughout the UK. Unfortunately, these people are unable to work, not for the want of trying, rather, due again to the lack of disabled access which is prevalent across a wide range of buildings and offices throughout the entire country.
It can be said that the overall lack of disabled access throughout Ireland and the UK is preventing those who are disabled, both young and old, from participating fully in public life.
While the implementation of such acts as the DAA 1995 and the Equality Act of 2010 have enabled those who are disabled or impaired to live a much better quality of life, recent research suggests that there are still many improvements needed in the way we structure our buildings and facilities to accommodate those who may be impaired or disabled.