Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Number of Taiwanese with disabilities rising

From China Post in Taipei:

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The number of citizens with physical or mental disabilities has continued to increase in Taiwan, having climbed to 4.47 percent of the country's population as of the end of June 2008, according to a report released Aug. 22 by the Ministry of the Interior.

The figure rose from 4.37 percent at the end of June 2007 and 3.37 percent at the end of 2001, the report stated.

At the end of June 2008, the number of registered disabled individuals totaled 1.027 million, up 26,000, or 2.6 percent, over the year-earlier level.

Of these disabled individuals, those with limb disorders formed the largest group, accounting for 38.9 percent of the total disabled population, followed by those with hearing impairments at 10.7 percent and those suffering loss of important organ function at 10.37 percent.

Multiple disabilities accounted for 9.7 percent, chronic mental disorder accounted for 9.6 percent, mental retardation for 8.98 percent, sight impairments 5.34 percent, dementia 2.46 percent, speech disorders 1.27 percent, and other disabilities 2.64 percent.

Compared with the same time last year, the number of people suffering loss of important organ function increased by 6,245, which represented the biggest rise, followed by an increase of 4,261 among persons with chronic mental disorders.

In terms of percentage, the largest growth, 13.8 percent, was recorded for people with dementia.

Meanwhile, 36.15 percent of the disabled population was determined to have mild disabilities,34.3 percent moderate disabilities, 18.26 percent serious disabilities, and 11.29 percent extremely serious disabilities.