About 85 million persons with disabilities live in Latin America and the Caribbean. Despite their growing visibility, they are more likely to live in households that are poorer than the average, are overrepresented amongst those vulnerable to fall into poverty, have a higher propensity to live in informal neighborhoods, have fewer years of education, and tend to be out of the labor market. In many places, they live isolated due to inaccessible built and virtual environments and face barriers to having their viewpoints and priorities included in decision-making. In every corner of the region, persons with disabilities are persistent victims of discrimination and confront glass ceilings that limit their personal development and social mobility
Without disability inclusion, the development and prosperity of Latin American and Caribbean societies will be unsustainable, since a larger portion of the population will face barriers to work, use public space, exercise their right to vote, or live autonomously. Therefore, principles such as accessibility, reasonable accommodation, and universal design must become even more commonplace, shaping the way markets, services, and spaces are designed and navigated.