The First Ever World Report on Disability

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank just released the World Report on Disability  which found that approximately 15% of the world’s population lives with some form of disability, of whom 2-4% experience significant difficulties in functioning. The report contains topic-specific chapters on health; rehabilitation; assistance and support; enabling environments; education; and employment. Within each chapter, there is a discussion of the barriers confronted, and case studies showing how countries have succeeded in addressing these by promoting good practice. This report updates previous WHO data from the 1970’s that found disability prevalence rates to be 10%. 

The report is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Chinese as well as accessible formats and DAISY from the WHO’s report landing page.

Read the Press Release for a summary of information contained in the report.

New Study Reveals Autism Prevalence: 1 in 38

In the first comprehensive study of autism prevalence using a total population sample, an international team of investigators from the U.S., South Korea, and Canada estimated the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in South Korea to be 2.64%, or approximately 1 in 38 children, and concluded that autism prevalence estimates worldwide may increase when this approach is used to identify children with ASD.

Researchers found that  that two-thirds of ASD cases in the overall sample were in the mainstream school population, undiagnosed and untreated. These findings suggest that rigorous screening and comprehensive population coverage are necessary to produce more accurate ASD prevalence estimates and underscore the need for better detection, assessment, and services.

Read or listen for more information about this interesting study.

Access the full journal article from the American Journal of Psychiatry.