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Breaking Barriers - Disability Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean



Breaking barriers

85 million, 34 million, 10 million. Unjust and unsustainable figures that speak of the exclusion and barriers faced by people with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is time to continue breaking barriers to ensure that no one is left behind:
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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. 

Launch event of the new World Bank Report

On December 2, 2021, a new World Bank report was presented that analyzes the causes of historical exclusion faced by people with disabilities in the region. Learn about the data, the achievements in the last decade and the stories behind the data in this interesting conversation with Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, María Elena Garcia Mora, Daniela Giménez, Ana Lucía Arellano, Gabriel Marcolongo and Denise Mota.

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People with disabilities should be able to participate fully in public life, without suffering any discrimination or marginalization in schools or workplaces. Exclusion impacts not only them and their families, but society as a whole. In economic terms alone, available global data suggest that the exclusion of people with disabilities represents a loss to countries of between 3 and 7 percent of GDP.

Learn more about the new World Bank report in this infographic and discover the steps the region can take to build a more inclusive future.


  • Discover this infographic also in Spanish, Portuguese and French.