Access to Services and Barriers faced by People with Disabilities: A Quantitative Survey

Nathan Grills, Lawrence Singh, Hira Pant, Jubin Varghese, GVS Murthy, Monsurul Hoq, Manjula Marella


Purpose: In low- and middle-income countries, reliable and disaggregated disability data on prevalence, participation and barriers is often not available.  This study aimed to estimate disability prevalence, determine associated socio-demographic factors and compare access in the community between people with and without disability in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand, India, using the Rapid Assessment of Disability Survey.

Methods: A cross-sectional population-based survey was conducted on a sample of 2431 adults, selected using a two-stage cluster randomised sampling technique.  The survey comprised an interviewer-administered household survey and an individual survey measuring disability, wellbeing and participation.  For each person with disability, an age and sex-matched control (without disability) was selected. In addition to prevalence, the difference in participation and barriers faced by people with and without disability were analysed.

Results and Conclusions: The prevalence of disability was 6.8% (95% CI 5.8-7.8) with significant associations with age, sex, economic status, education and employment. Psychosocial distress (4.8%) and mobility impairment (2.7%) were the most common disabilities identified. The study showed that people with disabilities had significantly less access to services than those without disability, and the barriers reported most often were lack of information, transport and physical inaccessibility.


Disability prevalence; accessibility; barriers to access; disability measurement

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