An estimated 650 million people are living with a disability worldwide, of which the world's poorest people are vastly overrepresented (Disabled World, 2014).
Reasons for impairments include:
- Rising life expectancies causing delayed mortality but enhanced morbidity
- Motorisation and machinery-based accidents
- New outbreaks of disease and shifting epidemics
- Lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking and drug abuse
- Armed conflict and warfare
- Domestic violence
- Natural disasters
Disability not only limits education and employment opportunities, but also often prevents community inclusion and independent living therefore compromising social wellbeing. In developing nations, this is further complicated by limited access to healthcare and specialty services, therefore compromising the capacity of families and whole communities to reach their productive potentials.