Importance of Disability Inclusion in the U.S.
What's Disability Inclusion?
Disability inclusion is about including people with disabilities in daily activities and encouraging them take on roles that are similar to those of their peers without a disability.
Inclusion should result in increased participation in socially acceptable life roles and activities, such as student, worker, friend or community member, patient, spouse, partner or parent.
Other socially expected activities include participating in social activities, using public libraries and transportation, moving within communities, getting adequate health care, having relationships and enjoying other daily activities.
Inclusion of people with disabilities and their health
People with disabilities can take part in the same prevention and health promotion activities as people without disabilities. These activities include:
- Counselling and education programs that encourage physical activity, nutrition, and/or reduce the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco;
- Annual health checks include a blood pressure and cholesterol screening, as well as screening for diseases such cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.
Inclusion of people with disabilities in these activities starts with identifying and eliminating obstacles to their participation.
Why is this Important?
Nearly 61 million Americans are affected by disability. This is 26% of the total number of people living in American communities. More than one billion people are affected by disability worldwide, according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.1,2 . . "Those with disabilities are those who have long-term mental, physical, or sensory impairments (such as hearing or sight loss) that interact with other barriers and may prevent them from fully participating in society on an equal basis."
When it comes to their health, people with disabilities are often at significant disadvantages.
- Three times more likely are adults with disabilities to develop heart disease, stroke, diabetes or cancer than those without disabilities.
- Adults with disabilities are more likely to smoke than those without; and
- Women with disabilities are less likely to have had a mammogram (breast cancer X-ray) in the last 2 years than women who don't have disabilities.
While disability can be caused by certain health conditions, such as arthritis, mental, emotional, or other conditions, the functioning, independence, and participation in society of persons with disabilities may vary depending on many factors.
- Gravity of the underlying impairment
- Expectations and social, political and cultural influences
- The built and natural environment
- Accessibility of assistive technology devices and technologies
- Support for family and community members and engagement
Inclusion of people with disabilities means understanding how people function and how they interact in society. It also means making sure everyone has equal opportunities to take part in all aspects of life to their full potential.
15% of the world's population has some form of disability. The prevalence of disability is higher in developing countries.
People with disabilities are more likely than others to have poor socioeconomic outcomes. This includes lower education, less employment and poorer health outcomes. Malnutrition, insufficient access to education or health care, unsafe work conditions, pollution, lack of sanitation, and insufficient water and sanitation access may all increase the likelihood of disability. The risk of poverty may be increased by a lack of education and employment opportunities, lower wages and higher living costs for those with disabilities.
COVID-19 continues its global impact. It is important to consider how people with disabilities are affected by the pandemic. This includes transport, health and education considerations.
Many people with disabilities have additional health needs, which make them more vulnerable to the severe symptoms of COVID-19. People with disabilities could also be more at risk for COVID-19, as information about the disease, such as the symptoms and how to prevent it, is not often available in accessible formats, such Braille, sign language interpretations, captions, audio provision, or graphics.
Children with disabilities are now unable to access basic services like meal programs, assistive technology, access to resources personnel, recreation programs, extracurricular activities, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), programs. COVID-19 has caused a shift in the roles of parents/caregivers to be able to simultaneously act as teachers. This has also increased the digital divide between students and their access to equipment, electricity, the internet, and other services.
Inaccessible environments and transportation are barriers to full economic and social inclusion for persons with disabilities.
The awareness of disability-inclusive development is growing worldwide. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities promotes the full inclusion of persons with disabilities into societies. The CRPD specifically mentions the importance of international developments in addressing persons with disabilities' rights.
The 2030 Agenda to Sustainable Development clearly states, "Disability cannot be a reason for inaccessibility to development programming or the realization of human right." Seven targets in the Sustainable Development Goals framework explicitly address persons with disabilities. Six additional targets are for persons in vulnerable situations.
Inclusion can be seen as a multifaceted process that requires a range of approaches from different cultures. It's a way to make sure people with different abilities feel included in the larger society, participate in it, and are connected to its goals and objectives.
Universal designis one of the most important concepts and approaches to inclusion for people with disabilities. It is the process of designing buildings, products, and environments so that accessibility as well as usability are maximized.
Disability mainstreaming can be described as a strategy, a method and a tool to achieve social inclusion. It is a process that aims to integrate previously marginalized people into the "mainstream" of society. It is done by making the "needs and experiences of persons living with disabilities an integral part in the design, implementation monitoring, evaluation, and evaluation policies and programs in all political economic and societal arenas to ensure that people with disabilities are equally benefited and that inequality is not perpetuated. It is the practice of placing special education students in general education classes during specific times based on their abilities. This allows a person with a disability, such as autism or IDEA, to participate in the school system and the wider community.
Inclusion in U.S.
The United States federal laws that apply to people with disabilities aim at creating an inclusive environment through mainstreaming, nondiscrimination and reasonable accommodations. Three federal laws are essential to protect the rights and ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Bill of 1973 provides protection against discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects individuals from discrimination based on disability.
In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was published by the United States Department of Justice. It is a civil right law which protects civil liberties for individuals with disabilities. It applies to universal design and requires employers and organizations to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.  As such, the ADA guarantees equal opportunities for people with disabilities in many areas. ); Transportation; State or local government services; Telecommunications (such a telephone, television, and computers).
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was published in 2010. It touches on disability inclusion by defining disability status as a demographic group and mandating data collection to evaluate health disparities.
Although laws have been passed to provide physical access for disabled people, they still have low participation rates in cultural activities. The attitudes and prejudices that people with disabilities hold towards disabled people are still a problem.