Almost 40% of people with disabilities are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, with a new report showing Ireland among the worst in Europe in this regard.
The fourth edition of the European Disability Forum’s Human Rights Report showed the situation faced by people with disabilities has worsened since 2010 in 11 EU countries - including Ireland.
Using previously published data, it showed that 38.1% of people with disabilities in Ireland are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, the fifth-worst among the European countries ranked in the report. Only Bulgaria and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have a worse percentage.
When it came to the increase in the risk of poverty and social exclusion in percentage points (pp) for persons with disabilities compared to the general population, Ireland again came fifth-worst, with an increase of 19.1.
The report referred to the "significant" extra costs for households with a member who has a disability in Ireland and referred to the impact of the recession on not just job and education prospects but also cuts to services and difficulty in accessing housing.
It said: "The economic crisis led to a crisis that has not abated for people with disabilities, who faced spiralling poverty, unemployment and homelessness while essential services were cut.
In all EU countries, persons with disabilities are more likely to be poor and unemployed than persons without disabilities. "Not only are persons with disabilities poorer, but they also face extra costs from living in a society that is not adapted to them," it said.