- There are over 12 million disabled people in the UK, of whom about seven million are of working age. Almost 1 in 5 people (19%) in the UK have an impairment; a figure that has remained relatively constant over time.
- Fewer than one in five disabled people were born with their impairments. The majority of disabled people acquire their impairment later in life.
- Most impairments are not visible. In 2012/13, the most common impairments that disabled people had were: mobility (57%), stamina/breathing/fatigue (38%), dexterity (28%) and mental health (16%). Fewer than 8% of disabled people use wheelchairs, about 1.2 million people
- The distribution of disabled people is fairly evenly spread across the UK, although the North East, Wales, the North West and East Midlands have slightly higher rates of disability.
- Disabled people are nearly 4 times as likely to be unemployed or involuntarily out of work as non-disabled people.
- In the UK 42% of disabled people were employed, compared to 80% of non-disabled people. The gap of nearly 38%, is significantly higher than the EU average.
- A key reason for the low employment rate of disabled people is the fact that 1 in 6 of those who become disabled while in work lose their job during the first year after becoming disabled.
- Disabled people are more likely than non-disabled people to be long-term unemployed and economically inactive, factors known to make it more difficult to return to work.
- Nearly one third of disabled people who are vocationally inactive say they would like to work (28%), compared with less than one quarter (23%) of vocationally inactive non-disabled people.
- The two most commonly stated enablers for employment among adults with impairments are modified hours or days or reduced work hours and tax credits.
- The two most common barriers to work among adults with impairments are a lack of job opportunities (43%) and difficulty with transport (29%).
- 19% of households that include a disabled person live in relative income poverty compared to 14% of households without a disabled person.
- According to a recent survey, only one third (34%) of people who work in the private sector think their workplace welcomes disabled people, compared to over half (55%) of those in the public sector.
- Mental ill health is the single largest source of disease burden, greater than cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the costs extend well beyond health and social care. One in four people will be affected by a mental health problem during any given year.
- For an average business, disabled people may account for up to 20% of all customers. Many businesses fail to recognise the business opportunity that improved access presents.
- The UK disabled consumer market comprises over 10 million disabled people with a combined annual spending on goods and services estimated in excess of £80 billion.
Main source: Papworth Trust: