The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as anyone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out day-to-day activities. These impairments include:
- loss of limbs
- multiple sclerosis
- heart disease
- Down’s syndrome
- learning difficulties
- mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.
Older people are more likely to develop a disability and most disabled people are adults. More than ten million people in the UK are disabled, 770,000 of whom are children.
More people are living with a disability now than in the past because we’re living longer, and improved medical treatments are enabling more people to manage long-term health problems. The Equality and Human Rights Commission says that 58% of people over 50 will have a long-term health condition by 2020.