People with Disabilities

More than a billion people, or about 15% of the world’s population, live with a disability. The rates of disability are expected to grow due to an aging population and the growing prevalence of chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

People with disabilities are among the world’s most marginalized and vulnerable groups:

  • 80% of people with disabilities live in low income countries, and people with disabilities are among the most poverty-stricken citizens of those states.
  • Worldwide, people with disabilities are less likely to have access to quality healthcare, education, and employment.
  • When natural disasters, disease epidemics, or conflict strike, people with disabilities are more likely to become victims, but less likely than others to receive humanitarian
  • In many low-income countries, where disability is treated as a stigma, people with disabilities can face discrimination in all aspects of life. They are also disproportionately affected by physical and sexual violence.


For 36 years, Humanity and Inclusion (HI) has fought to improve the living conditions of people with disabilities and ensure that their fundamental rights—including their rights to healthcare, rehabilitation, education, employment, accessibility and security—are met. Last year we supported 500,000 people with disabilities in 63 countries:

  • 277,000 people received rehabilitation, including physical therapy and the provision of assistive devices like wheelchairs and prostheses.
  • 42,600 children went to school through our inclusive education programs.
  • 37,500 people gained employment as a result of skills training and assistance in starting small businesses.
  • Hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities and other vulnerable populations received humanitarian aid following natural disasters and human conflicts.

HI also advocates for the rights of people with disabilities on global, national, and local levels and supports inclusion programs in more than 50 countries. HI participated in the drafting of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and now works with local organizations in a number of countries to ratify or implement the CRPD.