Americas Region

There are at least 50 million persons with disabilities in Latin America & the Caribbean (LAC) or approximately 10 % of the region’s population. A definitive number is difficult to ascertain as the methods of data collection across the region vary greatly. Disability is a dominant cause and consequence of poverty. Consequently, approximately 82 percent of disabled people in Latin American and the Caribbean live in poverty.

Only about 20-30 percent of children with disabilities are attending school in the region. Poor attendance by disabled children derives from severe lack of adequate transportation, access to school infrastructure, teacher training, and access to accessible equipment and assistive devices. In addition to these visible barriers, there are also attitudinal barriers. About 80-90 % of persons with disabilities are unemployed or outside the work force and most of those who have jobs receive little or no monetary remuneration. [Information from The World Bank]

Mexico: Ms. Janett Jiminez Santos

Janett Jiminez Santos

Janett has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the UNAM, with the thesis topic ‘Fitness Center for Athletes on Wheelchair, DIF “and a Masters by Research at Oxford Brookes University, UK, with the theme “Part M of the UK Building Regulations and Access for People with Disabilities”.

Her professional experience includes architectural design consultancy for accessibility for people with disabilities to the physical environment: assessment, counseling and technical specifications; Seminars to train people with disabilities in physical accessibility (UN program in Penang, Malaysia); Initiation of the chair design for people with disabilities in the Master of Architectural Design, UNAM; Spaces Design Course Accessible to Persons with Disabilities at the Universidad Iberoamericana; Coordination of project evaluation and opinion of the ITESM and Free Access, AC; Development of the evaluation method and bonds in the publication “Assessment Manual, Opinion and Building Certification for Use by Persons with Disabilities” published by Open Access, AC; Design Guide to complement the Malaysia Building Regulations on accessibility and Preparation of the base document NMX-R-050-SCFI-2005: Accessibility for people with disabilities to built spaces public service – Safety specifications, counseling Accessibility Technical Guide published by SEDUVI, DF government.