Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland has UK's highest rate of disability in children

By Donna Deeney

Northern Ireland has the highest percentage of childhood disability in the UK, a new study has shown.

The average across the province is 5.5%, significantly higher than in England where the level of childhood disability is 3.7%, while in Scotland it is 4.4% and Wales 4.3%.

Complied by Contact - a charity for families with disabled children - in conjunction with Leeds University, the study also shows that families with a disabled child face significant disadvantages.

Lindsay Wallace, Contact manager in Northern Ireland, called for more investment in health and social care services.

She said: "There is an unacceptable and marked difference between the quality of life and opportunities available to disabled children and their families compared to those without disabilities in terms of housing, their economic situation and their employment status.

"This means parent carers are more likely to be managing on a low income, struggling without a car or central heating.

"We want to see a restored Northern Ireland Executive tackle the never-ending cycle of disadvantage faced by families with disabled children by investing in health and social care services."

Belfast Telegraph

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