What social needs are we aiming to address and who will benefit from the event?
At least 1.1 billion people globally have a disability. 11 million people in the UK live with a disability. Further UK statistics according to AbilityNet and Inclusion London (2013) are as follows:
- 1 million are working age adults.
- 360,000 in the UK are registered blind and partially sighted.
- Over 25,000 registered as Deaf were aged 18-64 in 2010.
- 6 million people have dyslexia – 4 million severely so.
- The majority of Disabled people in the UK have a mobility impairment.
- Mental health problems cost employers in the UK £30 billion a year through lost production, recruitment and absence.
- 49% of Disabled people in the UK are employed compared with 76.7% non disabled people.
Scope reported that “two in five disabled people feel a lack of available job opportunities is a big barrier to employment. Whilst the Government has focused on disabled people becoming more employable, they have not done enough to address barriers to work and improve opportunities.”
Working age disabled people experience significantly lower employment rates and much higher unemployment rates than persons without disabilities (WHO).
Studies have shown however that disabled people can be as productive as non-disabled people if provided with assistive technologies and given a chance to shine at work. Also, lack of accessible employment opportunities and discrimination are big problems.
Society is changing. Traditional workplaces need to transform in accordance with these social changes, and to cater for the differing aspirations and needs of workers of different abilities and at all stages of life.
We strongly believe that technology and accessible design can improve the quality of employment for disabled people.