Over 90% Of People With Disabilities Lack Access To Assistive Devices: Report

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The Logical Indian Crew

Over 90% Of People With Disabilities Lack Access To Assistive Devices: Report

India's disabled population increased by more than 22 per cent between the 2001 and 2011 census. The report notes that the global population which would require assistive products would touch 3.5 billion by 2050.

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Globally, over 2.5 billion people require assistive devices like a wheelchair, hearing aids, or apps supporting communication and cognition. However, over a billion people lack the most basic facilities, a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF) mentioned.

Further, it highlighted that in middle and low-income countries, the access to assistive devices could be as low as a mere 3 per cent. The Global Report on Assistive Technology (GReAT) was built by international organizations. It highlighted the need to provide assistive products and a series of recommendations to expand the availability and access.

Disabled People Account For 2.21% Of India's Population

Rajib Dasgupta, one of the contributors to the report and the Chairperson of the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, JNU, highlighted that disabled people in India account for 2.21 per cent of the total population.

At 26.8 million people, the disabled population includes persons with visual, hearing, speech, locomotor and mental disabilities, primarily found in 19-59 years, The Hindu reported. Since people are ageing and the prevalence of non-communicable diseases is increasing, the global population of the disabled is likely to touch the 3.5 billion mark by 2050.

Several Recommendations To Improve Access

The report notes that affordability is the primary barrier to accessing assistive devices. As many as two-thirds of the people with assistive devices reported out-of-the-pocket expenses for the same, while others relied on financial help from family and friends.

The report highlights improving access to health, education and social care systems. Moreover, it recommends ensuring the safety, availability, effectiveness and affordability of assistive devices to those in need. International organizations also call on the governments to invest heavily in the research and development of an enabling ecosystem.

Also Read: Empowering Women With Tech: This Ed-tech Startup Has Taken AI, Coding To India's Rural Pockets

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Writer : Ratika Rana
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Editor : Ankita Singh
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Creatives : Ratika Rana