Disabled children ten times less likely to be in school: Study

Disabled children ten times less likely to be in school: Study

Children with disabilities are 10 times less likely to be in school than those without them, according to findings of a new study conducted in a Telangana district.

"Children with disabilities are ten times less likely to be in school than children without disabilities, and adults with disabilities are almost five times less likely to be working than adults without disabilities," says the study conducted by city-based Indian Institute of Public Health and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Titled "Evidence Based Disability Study" conducted in Mahabubnagar district, the objective of this study, which was released here today, was to develop a population based survey methodology to access prevalence of vision, hearing, Musculo Skeletal impairment, depression and self-reported disability and to compare the exeunt to which people with and without disabilities access key mainstream services and opportunities including health, education and livelihood.

4,080 people were enumerated for the population-based survey, of whom 3,574 (88 per cent) were screened. Overall prevalence of disability was estimated at 12.2 per cent. Prevalence increases strongly with age from 3.6 per cent of children under 18, to 8.1 per cent among adults 18-49 and 38.3 per cent in adults aged above 50, it said.

The figures suggest that disability is strongly associated with aging, but that the prevalence amongst children and younger adults is still significant. Moreover, the impact of disability is particularly strong amongst children and young adults-limiting access to education and livelihood and significantly linked to poverty.

The study recommended raising awareness on the prevalence of disability and to advocate strongly for greater inclusion of children with disabilities in education.

It further recommended advocating for better access to health and rehabilitative services amongst children and adults with disabilities, including linking people with disabilities to available services and greater community outreach and support.

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