9 Tips to Welcome a Person with an Intellectual Disability

9 Tips to Welcome a Person with an Intellectual Disability

9 Tips to Welcome a Person with an Intellectual Disability

 

You’re facing a person with an intellectual disability and you don’t know how to exchange with them? Everybody can feel uncomfortable seeing we don’t always know how to approach, or help if necessary, a person with disabilities. Whether you are a tourism professional who needs keys to welcome a person with an intellectual disability in your establishment or a curious citizen who wants advice in order to easily communicate with a colleague with an intellectual disability, these tips are made for you! 

 

What is intellectual disability?

Intellectual disability comes from a learning disability. Generally appearing from birth, it’s characterized by learning difficulties and an intellectual development that’s inferior to the population average. People with an intellectual disability have trouble thinking, conceptualizing, communicating and making decisions.

Trisomy 21 (or Down syndrome) is the most well known genetic disorder that leads to an intellectual disability but other syndromes exist such as Fragile X, Prader-Willi or Smith-Magenis…

Around 7 million people have intellectual disabilities in the United States. (Our article Disabled People in the World in 2019: Facts and Figures details all the figures about the types of disabilities.) How to easily communicate with them and make them feel welcome? 

 

1. Smile!

There’s nothing like a beautiful and sincere smile to put at ease your conversation partner! Keep in mind that we can draw a lot of emotions thanks to our facial expressions!

 

2. Stay natural

When facing a person with an intellectual disability, the best thing to do is to address them the same way you would anyone. Using a warm tone devoid of pity!

 

3. Do not infantilize your conversation partner

Remain civilized and respectful in all circumstances, even if their behavior can seem childish to you.

 

4. Be patient

Take your time to truly listen to the person in front of you and adopt a reassuring attitude. Let the person speak and react at their own pace. Also be patient when you inform or guide a person with an intellectual disability. 

 

5. Use a simple and clear language

Opting for a language devoid of technical and specialized terms or unnecessary details will help you get your message across.

 

6. Add other mediums to your communication

A written text, an image or even body language can be useful when the person in front of you has trouble understanding you or memorizing information.

 

7. Offer to help

Of course you can offer to help but don’t get offended if the answer is negative. A person with an intellectual disability can indeed be autonomous according to the situations and their capabilities so it’s best not to impose your help even though you have good intentions in the first place.

 

8. Do not take offence

Some behaviors or attitudes can seem strange to you but there’s no need to take offence.

 

9. Avoid clichés

Keep finding out about people with disabilities and how to behave around them. Our article 8 Clichés about Intellectual Disability can complete these tips.

 

Implementing a simple yet efficient signage system with colored icons and easy-to-understand words help facilitate the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in establishments open to the public. As you can see, it’s easy to make them feel welcome in any type of situation! 

 

media

Take your time to truly listen to the person in front of you and adopt a reassuring attitude.

writer

Carole Martinez

Content Manager junior

stay updated

Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

other articles for you

follow us!

more articles

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 Must-Have Apps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in 2020  Technological breakthroughs can do miracles. For the 466 million people worldwide having disabling hearing loss (WHO), smartphones have become an essential tool to facilitate social interaction due to...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

Urban mobility of the most vulnerable: 5 minutes to understand

Urban mobility of the most vulnerable: 5 minutes to understand

Urban Mobility of the Most Vulnerable: 5 Minutes to Understand

 

Ensuring urban mobility for all is a major challenge. Many people who are vulnerable because of their physical condition, mental health, age or strong cultural barriers can not move independently. The sidewalks that we walk every day without difficulty can be a source of anxiety and factor of social withdrawal for the most fragile people.

In the light of different surveys, we will try to understand the behavior and needs of fragile people in their travels. What are the difficulties encountered ? What are the measures to be taken to improve their experience in the urban space? This article takes stock of the situation.

Make the city “legible”

According to Kevin Lynch’s book Image of the City (1960), the city is made “legible” thanks to five structuring elements: streets, neighborhoods, landmarks, boundaries and nodes (junction and concentration points). Pedestrians rely on these physical forms to find their bearings. They are meant to offer the user the opportunity to create a mental image of the places he or she walks.

When readability is lacking, apprehension takes the lead. This anxiety can become a real source of stress that paralyzes the most vulnerable people so that they give up moving and lose autonomy.

The perception of urban space varies from one user to another according to his physical and mental abilities, his personal experience and his culture. These personal filters encourage the consideration of the capacities of the most diverse users.

Priority goes therefore to the “legibility” of the city to improve the feeling of safety of all users.

Who are the most fragile people?

Disabled people

“About 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning.” WHO

Disability typologies are grouped under six main categories:

⊗ mobility impairment

⊗ sensory disability

⊗ psychic handicap

⊗ mental disability

⊗ cognitive impairment

⊗ debilitating diseases

Among them, there are people with several disabilities of the same degree as deafblindness and people with a severe disability with multiple expressions resulting in extreme restriction of autonomy.

Old people

“Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years old will nearly double from 12% to 22%.”(WHO)

The elderly are often affected by gait disorders, cognitive disorders and sensory disorders.

Foreigners

Cities around the world are not alike and that’s good! Culture is indeed at the heart of urban development. Some tourists and especially some immigrants can lose their bearings because of a different conception of the city as they know it and the lack of knowledge of the language. In American for exemple, over 76 million tourists from all over the world are visiting the country every year. In England, over 40 million visits have been recorded in 2017.

Other factors

Everyone can feel vulnerable, the time of a trip. Distraction, temporary tiredness or punctual stress are all factors that affect physical or intellectual abilities.

Movement strategies of the most vulnerable people

 

The Center for Studies and Expertise on Risks, the Environment, Mobility and Development (CEREMA) has initiated about twenty commented journeys in urban environments with so-called “fragile” people. The objective of this study is to highlight the difficulties of certain urban amenities and the travel choices of the most vulnerable people to solve these difficulties.

The perception of public space by people with disabilities

People with visual impairments face many technological and social challenges on a daily basis. But that’s without counting the environmental difficulties, especially in their movements in the city. The design of the public space is rather intended and thought for people who have all the senses. The experience of space without the eyes rests mainly on the decipherment of the sound and tactile cues, as for example:

 

 

⊗ attention to sidewalk changes that signal a zone change

⊗ listening to the noise of cars to appreciate the proximity of the street

⊗ the attention paid to the arrangement of the trees to know the position of the buildings, etc.

To move safely, visually impaired people make travel choices that vary from person to person such as:

⊗ be accompanied by a person

⊗ favor the streets at right angles and with few shops or terraces to avoid obstacles and crowds

⊗ walk along the walls to cross wide open spaces,

⊗ follow the GPS directions by choosing the shortest route or the one with the least turns

Deaf people, who have invisible disabilities, also find it difficult to decipher their environment. A study conducted by the Gare de Lyon in Paris shows that among users with all types of disabilities, it is the people with hearing problems who have the most difficulty to achieve a journey. This result can be explained by “the natural invisibility of hearing loss that does not generate spontaneous assistance from the public or staff (…) but also by the reluctance of the people involved to announce their disability”, says the study.

To decipher their environment, deaf people favor visual ambiances, kinesthetic or olfactory cues and breaks in the atmosphere or certain urban furniture. They rely mainly on written inscriptions, characteristic smells and break points.

In terms of choice of travel, the CEREMA study shows that deaf people generally avoid approaching areas considered dangerous as water bodies.

As for people with reduced mobility, they prefer a route adapted to their physical condition. Wheelchair users need alternatives to stairs, steps and slopes equal or greater than 1:12. In either case, they take care to prepare their trip upstream.

For people with mental, cognitive and psychic disabilities the understanding of the urban space is often altered by the worry and stress of the unknown. The disability can be aggravated when the logic of the organization of space is not made explicit. In this case, the person tends to give up moving. Travel choices focus on familiar routes, close to home and leave no room for the unexpected.

Public space for the elderly

Older people may also have sensory, physical or motor disabilities, or many at the same time. They are subject to stress, fatigue, memory loss. It can be difficult for them to read road signs or a map because of vision problems.

According to a March 2016 Observatory Mobility (OMNIL) survey, the main reason for moving for people over the age of 60 is the home-purchase journey.

Older people concentrate their trips to do their shopping near their homes. They will take their time, sit on public benches to rest, go outside of the period of influence…

The case of foreigners

For some foreigners, the city they discover may not have the architectural codes they know. In addition, the lack of knowledge of the language is an impediment to decipher road signs and ask for directions.

Preferred travel strategies are the use of a GPS or a map (which can be a distraction 

and can cause accidents) and the assistance of passers-by.

Suggested improvements to enhance urban mobility of fragile people

Facilitating access to the city by all means designing more ergonomic urban spaces. Urban planners and public decision-makers must take into account the mobility difficulties of the entire population and set benchmarks to facilitate their orientation and their choice of trips.

Here are some ways to improve urban mobility for all:

⊗ Provide GPS-type tools for people with disabilities to calculate a route based on a specific disability

⊗ Design clear and visible signage by all to avoid endangerment by looking for clues

⊗ Install audio beacons in key city locations and transportation networks to guide visually impaired

⊗ Securing pedestrian crossings for the visually impaired by installing

⊗ Accessible Pedestrian SignalsAvoid the creation of obstacles on the main axes of movement which are the reference routes for the most fragile users

⊗ Consult the users to seek feedbacks and the experts in order to propose adequate solutions

⊗ Make available and maintain accessibility equipment and street furniture, especially benches to rest and promote social bonds

⊗ Delimit space changes with clear visual or tactile cues

⊗ Limit spaces to a proper function to promote readability

⊗ Focus on the quality of public spaces ambiances to make them reassuring and welcoming

We are all vulnerable pedestrians. Tourist, expatriate, permanently or temporary disabled, subject to the tiredness of age or a busy day. This fragility, whatever its nature, induces a loss of autonomy and serenity in our travels.

A more legible city is a city that welcomes more visitors, boosts its economy and takes into account the travel choices of the entire population. Designing the city for the benefit of the most vulnerable means ensuring comfort and security for all. So consult the users and ask them about the areas to focus on to improve your city.

Start now!

media

Some tourists and especially some immigrants can lose their bearings because of a different conception of the city as they know it and the lack of knowledge of the language.

writer

Zoe Gervais

Zoe Gervais

Content Manager

stay updated

Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

other articles for you

follow us!

more articles

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 Must-Have Apps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in 2020  Technological breakthroughs can do miracles. For the 466 million people worldwide having disabling hearing loss (WHO), smartphones have become an essential tool to facilitate social interaction due to...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

Public Transport: Accessibility Solutions, Also for the Intellectual Disability!

Public Transport: Accessibility Solutions, Also for the Intellectual Disability!

Public Transport: Accessibility Solutions, Also for the Intellectual Disability!

 

153 million people live with an intellectual disability in the World. How do they get around the city and take public transportation independently? What are the facilities, accessibility equipment or human solutions that facilitate their mobility? The accessibility regulation is not very explicit on the subject. But many public transport networks have already experimented and implemented measures that have positive effects. Here is an overview!

Intellectual Disability: Specific Needs for Mobility

 

Intellectual disability, also known as general learning disability or mental retardation, is characterized by significantly impaired intellectual and adaptive functioning. Often confused with the mental illness and associated with the cognitive disability, the intellectual disability nevertheless has its specificities.

People with intellectual disabilities have, to a greater or lesser extent depending on the case:

⊗ difficulties of understanding and conceptualization,

⊗ reduced analytical capacity,

⊗ increased emotions and sensitivity to stress,

⊗ difficulties in getting in touch and being understood,

⊗ a reduced ability to be aware of space and time,

⊗ a lack of ability to cope with unforeseen circumstances,

⊗ difficulty concentrating and remembering information,

⊗ difficulties to sort out too much information,

⊗ complicated access to writing, especially when the information is long or contains abbreviations or acronyms…

For the use of public transport, these difficulties have concrete consequences at each stage of the journey: reading maps, understanding schedules, wayfinding, remembering and following directions, identifying the correct bus stop or subway station, coping with service disruptions, delays and emergencies, requesting information from appropriate sources…

 

Tools Adapted to the Intellectual Disability to Use Public Transport

Many transport authorities have already put in place solutions to facilitate access for people with intellectual disabilities to public transport. Beyond the 153 million people with intellectual disabilities identified in the World, it is many other travelers who benefit: the elderly, children, people with mental or cognitive disabilities and potentially anyone stressed or distracted.

 

Help by Planning a Trip

Planning a trip is essential to feel reassured and anticipate difficulties. Some people with intellectual disabilities need to be trained to use public transport.

In New York City, the MTA offers free travel training to all travelers with disabilities. They learn to use the bus and subway independently. To remember the skills obtained, they can also refer to the MTA Guide to Accessible Transit.

In San Francisco, travelers with intellectual disabilities can also get an individualized travel training with a qualified travel trainer. This training allow them to improve their travel skills and gain more experience using the Muni system.

This kind of trainings also exist in Paris with “Mobility Workshops”. The RATP transit system has published a guide in language easy to read and understand.

Some people with an intellectual disability are quite able to use a map as long as it is simplified. Many cities have maps that include photos of the main places. This preview has a reassuring effect and facilitates the recognition of its destination when reaching it. Transport for London offers a large collection of maps in different forms: color, black and white, large print, audio, etc.

 

Multichannel and Multisensory Signage

 

Dissemination of information via several channels and in different sensory modalities (visual, sound, tactile) can reach a wider audience and ensures a better understanding of the message in all circumstances.

More and more transit systems are providing traveler information in real time both in visual form (lighted signs) and sound. Most of the World’s largest cities have passenger information systems with both visual and vocal announcements. This is very helpful for most fragile travelers.

Many French cities have installed audio signage for blind and visually impaired people. The speakers are activated on demand with a remote control or smartphone to avoid noise pollution on roads. They broadcast a fully customizable message wich announces the name of the location and guiding information. Specialized associations on intellectual disability suggest extending the use of these audio beacons to the population they represent. These devices are gradually installed to locate the entrances of metro stations in Paris.

The use of symbols or pictograms also facilitates identification and helps memorize information. Mexico City’s Metro system has icons to identify each station. Instead of a name, these graphic elements make wayfinding easier for passengers with intellectual disabilities or those who cannot read.

Still underdeveloped in the urban space, pavement marking has a strong potential for wayfinding of all the public. In Liverpool, the locations of the main bus stops are indicated by footprints incorporating the bus number and differentiated by a color code.

 

Training Frontline Staff and Drivers on Disability Awareness

 

The behavior of drivers and transport employees can, as appropriate, improve or aggravate the stress or panic situations of travelers with intellectual disabilities. This is one of the reasons why training for the reception of disabled people and accessibility must be provided to all personnel in contact with the public.

This approach is already in place on many public transport networks, as in London, Paris, San Francisco or Toronto.

 

Implementation of Easy-to-Use Equipment

 

The complexity of automated ticketing or security gates can compromise access to transport for people with intellectual disabilities.

The design of this equipment must therefore take into account the specific needs of these users:

⊗ Reduction of the number of manipulations,

⊗ Information easy to understand,

⊗ Tolerance to slowness, etc.

Digital Solutions Adapted to Intellectual Disability

 

People with intellectual disabilities also benefit from advances in information and communication technologies. The Disability Innovation Institute in Sydney (Australia) conducts interdisciplinary research on the use of mobile technology by people with intellectual disabilities, and its capacity to improve their social inclusion. Apps on tablets and smartphones can help them in their daily lives to do their shopping, count the currency, organize their schedule, and of course, travel on public transport. To design accessible applications, it is necessary to take into account the following points:

⊗ Easy to read and understand text: use simple words, not jargon (e.g. travel document = ticket),

⊗ Photos of places: preview of strategic points and places of destination. The fact of being able to visualize one’s journey has indeed reassuring for a person with intellectual disability. A 360 ° view is a real plus.

⊗ Voice input: Users must be able to query with their own words.

⊗ Several possible paths: What is logical for some is not necessarily for others, for example for people with autism. An application accessible to all must allow access to the same information by several methods.

⊗ Suggestions when typing: Whether the query is captured by voice or text, the application should provide suggestions for failure (e.g., “Do you mean…”).

⊗ Priority to the most common queries: These should appear as close as possible to the beginning of the home screen to allow quick access to information.

⊗ E-mail or SMS Alerts: To help users better manage unexpected events and disruptions, it is essential that the application offers an e-mail or SMS alert system on predefined routes. The application should also propose alternative routes.

⊗ Personal preferences: Users must be able to record their own parameters as their preferred mode of transport (surface transport for a claustrophobic person), their walking speed (calculation of the journey time), map display mode (change map orientation, zoom control), etc.

 

As you can see, the needs of people with intellectual disabilities allow the development of solutions that benefit all public transport users. Anyone who occasionally encounters difficulties in comprehension, memory, strength or reactivity, because of their age, illness, stress, fatigue or a simple moment of distraction . Mobility professionals with disabilities are able to assist you in implementing these solutions.

 

If you like this article you might also like this one: 8 Clichés About Intellectual Disability

media

The needs of people with intellectual disabilities allow the development of solutions that benefit all public transport users. Anyone who occasionally encounters difficulties in comprehension, memory, strength or reactivity, because of their age, illness, stress, fatigue or a simple moment of distraction.

writer

Zoe Gervais

Zoe Gervais

Content Manager

stay updated

Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

other articles for you

follow us!

more articles

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 Must-Have Apps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in 2020  Technological breakthroughs can do miracles. For the 466 million people worldwide having disabling hearing loss (WHO), smartphones have become an essential tool to facilitate social interaction due to...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

7 Clichés About Psychiatric Disability

7 Clichés About Psychiatric Disability

7 Clichés About Psychiatric Disability

 

Psychiatric disability, or mental illness, has long been associated with insanity. It very often (and wrongly) prompts an irrational fear in us. Like all other disabilities, psychiatric disability has many forms and a person can lead an active life with appropriate support.

1. Psychiatric disability does not affect me

Unfortunately, no family is safe from mental health issues, whether depression, anxiety, addiction, schizophrenia, anorexia or other. The WHO estimates that these disorders affect one in four people and by 2020, mental illness will be the most common disability in the world.

2. Intellectual disability and psychiatric disability are the same thing

Even though the results of these two types of disabilities sometimes resemble each other, it is important to distinguish between them.
Intellectual disability is the result of a cognitive impairment that affects a person’s ability to learn, think and conceptualize. Psychiatric disability is the result of disabling psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, major depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorders and personality disorders. It is also often called “mental illness” but this can increase confusion between the two disabilities. In any case, psychiatric disability does not affect a person’s intellect. It simply makes it more difficult for them to use their intellectual abilities in certain circumstances or in a particular emotional state.

3. People who live with a psychiatric disability are unable to work

One of the main difficulties facing people affected by a psychiatric disability is keeping their job. The unemployment rate among people recognized as disabled workers is twice that of the general population. Nevertheless, with personalized support (rearrangement of work schedule and environment), they are more than capable of working and contributing their skills. A job can even act as an effective way of preventing their disorder from worsening.

4. A mental illness is for life, it cannot be cured

 Studies show that the majority of people with mental health problems improve or even recover completely. They can then participate fully once again in family life, society and work, even if some symptoms linger on.

5. The only way to treat a person with a psychiatric disability is to commit them or medicate them

The vast majority of psychiatric patients are treated as outpatients and are never hospitalized. Psychotherapy, physiotherapy, social rehabilitation courses and support groups are just some of today’s alternatives to medication and hospitalization.

6. Schizophrenics are violent and dangerous. They often kill people

The statistics speak for themselves: less than 1% of crimes are committed by people suffering a serious mental illness. There is no connection between a psychiatric disorder and the committing of a crime.

7. There are no effective measures for promoting accessibility among people who have a psychiatric disability

Since anxiety is one of the most common symptoms of a psychiatric disability, anything that helps create a reassuring atmosphere is welcome. We can also add:

⊗ Hiring patient, respectful staff who are trained in receiving people with disabilities;

⊗ Posting simplified, illustrated signs with easy-to-understand words, colors, symbols and icons;

⊗ Using visually different carpets or floor coverings, or tactile strips to point out the main pathways;

⊗ Comforting background sound with noise-dampening coverings.

If you like this article, you will also like this one: 8 Clichés About Blind People

media

Less than 1% of crimes are committed by people suffering a serious mental illness. There is no connection between a psychiatric disorder and the committing of a crime.

writer

Lise Wagner

Lise Wagner

Accessibility Expert

stay updated

Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

other articles for you

follow us!

more articles

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 Must-Have Apps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in 2020  Technological breakthroughs can do miracles. For the 466 million people worldwide having disabling hearing loss (WHO), smartphones have become an essential tool to facilitate social interaction due to...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

8 Clichés About Intellectual Disability

8 Clichés About Intellectual Disability

8 Clichés About Intellectual Disability

 

There is poor awareness about intellectual disability (previously called mental retardation), even though it affects 1% of all children born. Find out more about this disability, its causes, the daily life of those living with it and how accessibility can be improved.

1. Intellectual disability and psychiatric disability are the same thing.

False. Even though the results of these two types of disabilities sometimes resemble each other, it is important to distinguish between them.

Intellectual disability is the result of a cognitive impairment that affects a person’s ability to learn, think and conceptualize. Psychiatric disability is the result of disabling psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, major depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety disorders and personality disorders. It is also often called “mental illness” but this can increase confusion between the two disabilities. In any case, psychiatric disability does not affect a person’s intellect. It simply makes it more difficult for them to use their intellectual abilities in certain circumstances or in a particular emotional state.

2. Intellectual disability always occurs at birth.

This is almost true.

The majority of intellectual disabilities originate before, during or a little after birth. In about 8% of cases, this type of disability appears later on following an accident, illness or trauma.

3. Down syndrome is the primary cause of intellectual disability.

In truth, the cause of 30% of intellectual disability cases is unknown. Among the known causes, the most common are genetic conditions, brain malformations, metabolism disorders, problems during pregnancy or during birth, and infectious diseases.

4. People with an intellectual disability are unaware that they’re different.

Even if it may reassure us to believe that, it’s just not true. They go through the same suffering as anyone else when teased, insulted or rejected. Perhaps even more so because they are often highly sensitive.

5. They have to live in an institution.

Everyone living with an intellectual disability is different. They have their own abilities and difficulties. While some need constant care, even for the simplest everyday act, others are perfectly capable of living on their own in independent housing.

6. They must always have someone assisting them.

Once again, this is a question of their level of independence. Some with intellectual disability are perfectly capable of understanding and expressing themselves. It may be that they require more time and concentration. This is why you will help them a lot by showing that you are listening, patient and not preoccupied with something else. To help them orient themselves, illustrated signs with colors, symbols and icons can be very useful for them.

7. They cannot work.

The truth is that they are rarely given the opportunity. The unemployment rate among people recognized as disabled workers is twice that of the general population. However, there is accessibility to numerous jobs especially in sheltered workshops, also known as work centers.

8. There are no effective measures to increase accessibility for those living with intellectual disability.

The forms of intellectual disability are so varied that it is difficult to state the specific needs of people living with this type of disability. Below is a list of some useful measures that can facilitate their integration.

⊗ Posting simplified, illustrated signs with easy-to-understand words, colors, symbols and icons;

⊗ Providing information that has been written in simple language and provided in several formats (visual, audio, etc.);

⊗ Using visually different carpets or floor coverings, or tactile strips to point out the main pathways.

Finally, the training of all staff members, who deal with the public, in welcoming a person with a disability is one specific way to really help in their integration.

Did you like this article? Then read this one as well: 8 Clichés About Blind People

media

The truth is that they are rarely given the opportunity. The unemployment rate among people recognized as disabled workers is twice that of the general population.

writer

Lise Wagner

Lise Wagner

Accessibility Expert

stay updated

Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

other articles for you

follow us!

more articles

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 Must-Have Apps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in 2020  Technological breakthroughs can do miracles. For the 466 million people worldwide having disabling hearing loss (WHO), smartphones have become an essential tool to facilitate social interaction due to...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.

Disabled People in the World in 2019: facts and figures

Disabled People in the World in 2019: facts and figures

Disabled People in the World in 2019: Facts and Figures

 

There are currently more than 2 billion disabled people in the world, that is 37.5% of the world’s population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) a disabled person is anyone who has “a problem in body function or structure, an activity limitation, has a difficulty in executing a task or action; with a participation restriction”.

What are the different types of disabilities? How many people are affected? Which populations are most at risk? Let’s take stock of the facts and figures around the world.

 

How many people have disabilities in the world?

 

You may not see disabled people in your everyday life, and yet the WHO has identified over 2 billion disabled people, 20% of whom live with great functional difficulties in their day to day lives.

A few outstanding figures of disability around the world (according to the WHO):

⊗ 1.3 billion people are affected by some form of blindness and visual impairment. This represents 17% of the world’s population.

⊗ 466 million people have a disabling deafness and hearing loss. This represents 6% of the world’s population.

⊗ About 200 million people have an intellectual disability (IQ below 75). This represents 2.6% of the world’s population.

⊗ 75 million people need a wheelchair on a daily basis. This represents 1% of the world’s population.

These figures may remain an evolutionary average, but one thing is certain: the number of people affected by any form of disability represents a significant part of the world population, from adults to children. It is also important to underline the fact that some people are multi-handicapped and have multiple disabilities.

 

Explanation of global disability figures

 

More and more people are affected by disability every year. It is often the most vulnerable people who are most at risk. The WHO says that “the number of people with disabilities is increasing because of the aging of the population and the increase of chronic diseases”.

 

Key facts:

⊗ in 2017, people aged over 60 years old represented 962 million people, which was twice as many as in 1980

⊗ 1 in 2 disabled person cannot afford treatment

⊗ people with disabilities have a more fragile general health

⊗ disability increases dependency and limits participation in society

⊗ the poverty rate is higher for people with disabilities

These gaps are due to barriers to accessing health, education, transportation, information and work services – which many of us are taking for granted.

 

A definition of invisible disability

 

The concept of invisible disability takes its name from the forms of disability that are not apparent but that impact the quality of life. Among these are schizophrenia or deafness for example.

Far from clichés representing a disabled person in a wheelchair on the usual signage all over the world, the field of disability includes a vast range of disorders that are sensory, cognitive, psychological or chronic.

In the United States about 10% of Americans have a medical condition which could be considered an invisible disability.

 

In conclusion

 

As we can see, disability comes in many different forms and is progressing all over the world. While some disabilities are temporary, others, on the other hand, affect the everyday actions of people in the long term.

Getting to know more about disabled people is getting to know more than 2 billion citizens of the world who are longing for one thing: a more accessible world!

media

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) a disabled person is anyone who has “a problem in body function or structure, an activity limitation, has a difficulty in executing a task or action; with a participation restriction”.

writer

Lise Wagner

Lise Wagner

Accessibility Expert

stay updated

Get the latest news about accessibility and the Smart City.

other articles for you

follow us!

more articles

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 must-have apps for deaf and hard of hearing people in 2020

5 Must-Have Apps for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in 2020  Technological breakthroughs can do miracles. For the 466 million people worldwide having disabling hearing loss (WHO), smartphones have become an essential tool to facilitate social interaction due to...

NEVER miss the latest news about the Smart City.

Sign up now for our newsletter.

Unsubscribe in one click. The information collected is confidential and kept safe.

powered by okeenea

The French leading company

on the accessibility market.

For more than 25 years, we have been developing architectural access solutions for buildings and streets. Everyday, we rethink today’s cities to transform them in smart cities accessible to everyone.

By creating solutions ever more tailored to the needs of people with disabilities, we push the limits, constantly improve the urban life and make the cities more enjoyable for the growing majority.