As outlined in our previous posts, the EU at present has a population of just over 739 million. Approximately 7.5 million (1%) of these people are disabled. That equates to one in every one hundredth EU citizen is disabled or impaired in some shape or form.
Out of this figure, approximately 770,000 of these citizens are children under the age of 16 who live within Ireland and the UK. Below are some interesting figures to take on board.
- There are over 770,000 disabled children under the age of 16 in the UK and Ireland. That equates to 1 child in 20
- Only 8% of families get services from their local social services.
- It costs up to three times as much to raise a disabled child as it does to raise a child without disabilities
While the introduction and amendment of laws such as the DAA 1995 and the equality act of 2010 have given these children a much better quality of life, there are still many businesses and governments alike whose premises and facilities have still not reached the standard required of the equality laws which are in place today.
According to a report released by the European Parliament in July, children with disabilities still face many obstacles throughout Europe. One of the key areas of concern outlined in this report was accessibility for the disabled in schools. According to the report, “despite laws and policies undertaken, the attendance of children with disabilities to mainstream education is still limited”.
While this in itself poses many questions of the current governments, institutions and the effectiveness of the Acts themselves, the attendance of school children with disabilities is just one of the many problems associated with the severe lack of disabled and impaired access throughout Europe.
Do these disabled children not deserve the same quality of life experienced by those kids who are not disabled or impaired? Do they not deserve an education, to experience the nostalgia associated with school or to reap the benefits that flow from good health and education?
By ignoring the current equality laws with regard to disabled and impaired access, you are in effect, among many other things, ignoring a child’s future. With the laws and policies in place, it is now up to us to do our part for these children.