Did you know that poverty can cause disability? It’s true. Also, disability can encourage poverty. If you were unaware of this, you might be asking yourself how poverty and disability are so intricately woven together and why. Let’s begin by pointing out how poverty can cause disability.
Poverty can cause a person to develop a disability.
How is this possible? Consider the following statements:
Poverty can encourage disability because….
– Many people who are poor do not have money to buy healthy food (or sometimes any food at all), leading to malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.
– People who live in poverty cannot afford the healthcare they need to help them control the symptoms of their disabilities or prevent further disability.
– When a person or family simply does not have enough money to live on, they often reside in “dangerous living conditions.” Such living conditions can aggravate already-present disabilities and maybe even cause new ones.
Do you see how poverty can be a cause of disability? Looking at it from a different perspective helps us to see that disability can cause someone to live in poverty as well. How?
How disability causes poverty.
Here are a just a few ways disability fosters poverty:
Disability can encourage poverty because…
– People who have disabilities have to deal with “social stigmas and exclusion.” This can discourage them from getting the healthcare that they need in order to function well. Also, isolation itself might encourage the development of emotional disabilities.
– Those with disabilities often are unable to get to work or school. If a person doesn’t get an education, how are they supposed to work? And if they don’t work, how can they be expected to have money to live on? This demonstrates the catch 22 that this situation creates.
Note: these ideas were adapted from http://www.ucl.ac.uk/global-disability-research/downloads/Dan_Mont_-_Perspectives_from_the_World_Bank.pdf.
Are you beginning to see the poverty-disability cycle that many people are stuck in?
If so, you may be wondering what you can do to end it. While there is no pat answer for this, here’s a start: Do your best to spread awareness of disability and not socially exclude people who have disabilities. This will do something to help to end the cycle of poverty and disability.
*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority. Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.
Let’s Talk About It
What are some other ways that disability causes poverty and poverty causes disability?
Do you think exclusion of people with disabilities encourages poverty by preventing these individuals from finding employment?