2.2 Associated levels of literacy and poverty

As a result of the low levels of school enrollment and attendance by children with disabilities, the literacy rate for adults with disabilities is just 3 per cent and, in some countries, as low as 1 per cent for women with disabilities.46 Poverty and disability are closely linked. The World Bank estimates that 20 per cent of the poorest people are disabled. An estimated 30 per cent of the world’s street children have a disability. The quality of life of persons with disabilities in developing countries is significantly lower than that of their peers. In most countries, persons with disabilities tend to be regarded as the most disadvantaged sector within their society. Women with disabilities experience exclusion due to both their gender and their disability.

The vast majority of persons with disabilities are cared for exclusively by their families. In developing countries, persons with disabilities are not expected to work and many can only receive an income through begging. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), some 470 million people with disabilities are of working age worldwide.47 Yet, unemployment among the disabled is as high as 80 per cent in some countries.48



48Of the some 70 million persons with disabilities in India, for example, only about 100,000 have succeeded in obtaining employment in industry. http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=18