From NPR’s health blog, SHOTS:
More than 1 billion people in the world are living with some sort of
disability, according to a new international survey. That’s about 15 percent of the world’s population, or nearly one of every 7 people.
The numbers come from a joint effort by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. The last time anyone tried to figure out the prevalence of disabilities was back in the 1970s, when WHO figured it was about 10 percent. The current report suggests the 15 percent estimate will grow as the world’s population ages.
Like the 1970s numbers, today’s figures are at best an approximation. Many
countries don’t collect numbers carefully, and definitions of disability differ
from place to place. The World Bank/WHO folks sought out tabulations of people who have trouble seeing, hearing, walking, remembering, taking care of
themselves or communicating. Worldwide, the most common disability in people under the age of 60 is depression, followed by hearing and visual problems.
The post goes on to say that although identification of accurate numbers is an issue, the bigger issue is providing accommodation. While great efforts have been made since accommodation has been legislated through the Americans with Disabilities Act, not much has been done to address the not so visible disabilities, such as Depression. Of course there may not be a standard accommodation for everyone. Each person has a unique situation and is affected differently by their illness, so accommodation needs to be individualized. The only way this will ever happen is that more people with Depression need to speak up about their illness and ask for accommodations if needed. Don’t suffer in silence.
There are plenty of us out there.