Toronto – November 28, 2013 – The International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3, aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the rights, dignity and well-being of persons, including children, with disabilities. It also celebrates the benefits to all members of the community when persons with disabilities are included in every aspect of life.
Disability is a development issue, because of its bi-directional link to poverty: disability may increase the risk of poverty, and poverty may increase the risk of disability.
- Over a billion people worldwide have some form of disability.
- Rates of disability are increasing worldwide due to ageing population and increases in chronic health conditions.
- About 14.3% of the Canadian population have some form of disability.
- There are close to 200,000 children in Canada under the age of 15 with some form of disability.
- Social Assistance disability programs share of total disability income programs has risen slightly from 28.3% to 29.4% across Canada in the last 5 years.
- Children with disabilities are twice as likely as other children to live in households that rely on social assistance as a main source of income.
- Almost 55% of children with disabilities who need aids and devices do not have access to them.
- Five of the eight major disability income systems in Canada are only available to people who work full time or have regularly salaried employment. These five programs – EI sickness, CPP-D, Workers' Compensation, Veterans' programs, and most private insurance plans do not typically provide benefits to people with irregular or contract employment.
- In 2010, Canada became a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a human rights treaty ratified by 126 countries. Two years later the Harper government cut core funding to 18 national not-for-profit agencies advocating for the disabled.