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Before Covid-19, over 28% of the more than 100 million people with disabilities in Europe lived in poverty and social exclusion. Only 20% of women and 28% of men with disabilities were in full-time employment. The failure to update these data during the year 2020 shows how people with disabilities have been marginalised in the political agendas of EU states during the emergency. However, the report confirms that the pandemic has made the everyday inequalities and discrimination faced by people with disabilities more evident.
Some of the factors that have made people with disabilities particularly vulnerable to infection and that may worsen the outcome of Covid-19 infection are barriers to accessing health services, pre-existing medical conditions (respiratory problems, diabetes, obesity, heart problems), advanced age and residence in residential facilities.
The EDF report denounces the impact of the pandemic on people with disabilities, calling on European leaders to act as soon as possible to protect the rights of people with disabilities, providing a list of ten recommendations addressed to the European Union and to the leaders of individual EU countries.