According to the U.S. Census [https://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acsbr10-12.pdf], there are nearly 54 million school-aged children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old in the non-institutionalized population. Of these, nearly just over 5% were reported to have a disability in 2010.
At Van Products, we are passionate about helping families of disabled children get the help they need in the form of transportation and mobility products/accessories. Many of us have first hand experience with dealing with disability at home, and we know how significant it can be to have freedom of mobility.
11 Facts About Physical Disability
- Among the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the Columbus, OH Metro Area had one of the highest child disability rates at 7.2 percent. [https://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/acsbr10-12.pdf]
- Physical disability is defined as when a person’s physical functioning, mobility, dexterity, or stamina is limited.
- People with physical disability make up the largest minority group of the US. [source]
- According to the World Health Organization, however, in many low income countries only 5–15 per cent of the people who need assistive technology are able to obtain it.
- In the US, about 74.6 million people have some type of physical disability. [source]
- Students with disabilities have lower rates of participation in after-school activities, leading to decreased socialization and leadership development.
- Of today’s 20 year-olds, just over 1 in 4 will become disabled before they retire.
- 17.6% of people with a disability were employed in the US in 2013. [source]
- 41% of people with arthritis are forced to limit their physical activity, making it the leading cause of disability in the US.
- 27 million women have disabilities in the US. [source]
- Assistive technology is vital to more than a third of people with disabilities being able to take care of themselves at home.
Challenges Faced by Children with Disabilities
Just like adults with disabilities, children with disabilities face their own set of challenges. A 2013 report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) conducted research on disabled children from around the world.
Among issues revolving around institutionalization, abandonment, and neglect, the report revealed that disabled children often face barriers to education and other forms of exclusion, based on factors such as:
- Type of disability
- Where the child lives
- Culture/Class to which the child belongs
Disability does not discriminate; it can affect anyone, young or old; and it is often associated with a higher cost of living, lost opportunities to earn income, and an increased chance at facing financial difficulties. However, with advances in technology and raised awareness about physical and mental disabilities (like this ABC news story), more is being done to provide opportunities for disabled children to excel and, in many cases, learn to function independently as adults.
Things such as access to customized handicap vans, mobility equipment, and more are giving parents of disabled children (as well as disabled kids) a chance at a brighter future.