Who is at risk and why?
The chances of suffering physical disability increase with age. About 5% of people aged 18-25 have a moderate or severe physical disability. At age 55-64 it is almost 21% (PANSI, 2012).
About 47% of people aged over 65 have a limiting, long-term illness, rising to 57% of people aged over 85 (POPPI, 2012).
Young disabled people (aged 16-34) are at greater risk of being a victim of crime than their non-disabled counterparts (Office for Disability Issues, 2012).
As women age they are more likely to suffer mobility problems than men. At age 65-69 about 8% of men and 9% of women have a mobility problem, but at age 85+ it is 35% of men and 50% women.
Disabled people are less likely to be employed (49%) than non-disabled people (78%). Of those who are employed, about one-third of disabled people are in part-time employment compared with one-quarter of non-disabled people (Office for Disability Issues, 2012).
Disabled people tend to earn at a lower hourly rate (£11.78) than non-disabled people (£12.88) (Office for Disability Issues, 2012).
Disabled people are more than twice as likely to have no qualification and half as likely to have a degree level qualification as non-disabled people (Office for Disability Issues, 2012).
In families where no one is disabled, 18% of children live in poverty, but in families where there is at least one disabled person, 22% live in poverty (Office for Disability Issues, 2012).
Nearly one-quarter (23.6%) of households with a disabled person are in fuel poverty compared with 16.3% of households where no disabled people live (Office for Disability Issues, 2012).
Stroke victims are at risk of developing a physical disability.
People with progressive degenerative diseases (for example, arthritis; muscular dystrophy; multiple sclerosis) are at increased risk of developing a physical disability.
People sustaining a brain injury are at increased risk of physical disability. Brain injury is the fastest growing cause of disability in young people in the UK.
Compared with non-disabled people, disabled people are:
- More likely to live in poverty – the income of disabled people is, on average, less than half of that earned by non-disabled people.
- less likely to have educational qualifications – disabled people are more likely to have no educational qualifications.
- more likely to be economically inactive – only one in two disabled people of working age are currently in employment, compared with four out of five non-disabled people.
- more likely to experience problems with hate crime or harassment – a quarter of all disabled people say that they have experienced hate crime or harassment.
- more likely to experience problems with housing – nine out of ten families with disabled children have problems with their housing.
- more likely to experience problems with transport – the issue given most often by disabled people as their biggest challenge.
- more likely to experience problems with access to information & guidance relating to their condition and care.
(Source: Department of Health, 2005).