A recent survey done by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank found that about 1 in 7 people in the world are living with a disabling condition, or more than 1 billion people. This means about 15 percent of the world's population has a disability. The WHO believes that the number of disabled people in the world will rise as the population grows older.
NPR recently ran an article about the survey. According to NPR, the WHO found that people under the age of 60 are most commonly disabled by depression. Severe depression can make it difficult to work or go about the affected person's usual activities. Other people with depression are disabled, but can still work or might need to take a short or long medical leave of absence to get treatment for their illness. After depression, the most common disabling conditions are issues with sight or hearing.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against qualified people with disabilities in hiring, firing, application procedures, promotions, wages and compensation, job training and other conditions of employment. An employer with 15 or more employees is required to provide reasonable accommodations to allow a person with a disability to apply to a job and/or effectively work for their company.
The WHO/World Bank report was meant to give organizations that help disabled people around the world have an idea of how many people are living with disabling conditions and how resources to help people might be distributed. The survey was looking for people who have disabling conditions related to hearing, seeing or walking, as well as problems with memory, communication or taking care of daily needs.