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The Relationship between Disability and Poverty

Kenan Gurbuz/WHO

Canadians living with disabilities are vulnerable to poverty for a number of reasons. First, individuals with disabilities often incur additional costs resulting from their disability.[1] [2]For example, they may require assistive devices or the services of allied health care workers. In addition, as you probably realized from working through the quiz, individuals with disabilities face many barriers in accessing higher education and in entering the workforce.


Consider an individual with a severe visual impairment. What barriers might this person face in terms of accessing education and employment?

Of course, the relationship between poverty and disability is not unidirectional. Poverty itself places individuals at risk of disability. As an example, review the information on occupational health in the previous section.

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1. Dunn, PA. Canadians with disabilities. In: Westheus, A, editor. Canadian social policy: Issues and perspectives. Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press; 2003.

2. The photos "Disabled but web-abled" and "Auto wash" by Angelo Jacinto and Kenan Gurbuz are two of 33 awarded photographs from the WHO photo contest "Images of Health and Disability 2003". The contest was organized in order to promote the understanding and use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).Used with permission. accessed April 11, 2006

All references for this section