Disability

Disability

Overview

A disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these.
Many people would rather be referred to as a person with a disability instead of handicapped. "Cerebral Palsy: A Guide for Care" at the University of Delaware
University of Delaware
The university is organized into seven colleges:* College of Agriculture and Natural Resources* College of Arts and Sciences* Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics* College of Earth, Ocean and Environment* College of Education and Human Development...

 offers the following guidelines:
An individual may also qualify as disabled if he/she has had an impairment in the past or is seen as disabled based on a personal or group standard
Convention (norm)
A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms or criteria, often taking the form of a custom....

 or norm
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

.
Discussion
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Quotations

But pain... seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?

Lois McMaster Bujold, Barrayar 1991

Adversity does teach who your real friends are.

Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign, 1999

The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.

Native American proverb

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.

Kenji Miyazawa

I am neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist.

Max Lerner

A positive attitude might not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. --Herm Albright

Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns; I am thankful that thorns have roses.

Alphonse Karr

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.

Frederick Keonig

I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint.

Frida Kahlo

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin
Encyclopedia

A disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these.
Many people would rather be referred to as a person with a disability instead of handicapped. "Cerebral Palsy: A Guide for Care" at the University of Delaware
University of Delaware
The university is organized into seven colleges:* College of Agriculture and Natural Resources* College of Arts and Sciences* Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics* College of Earth, Ocean and Environment* College of Education and Human Development...

 offers the following guidelines:
An individual may also qualify as disabled if he/she has had an impairment in the past or is seen as disabled based on a personal or group standard
Convention (norm)
A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms or criteria, often taking the form of a custom....

 or norm
Norm (sociology)
Social norms are the accepted behaviors within a society or group. This sociological and social psychological term has been defined as "the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. These rules may be explicit or implicit...

. Such impairments may include physical, sensory
Sense
Senses are physiological capacities of organisms that provide inputs for perception. The senses and their operation, classification, and theory are overlapping topics studied by a variety of fields, most notably neuroscience, cognitive psychology , and philosophy of perception...

, and cognitive or developmental disabilities
Developmental disability
Developmental disability is a term used in the United States and Canada to describe lifelong disabilities attributable to mental or physical impairments, manifested prior to age 18. It is not synonymous with "developmental delay" which is often a consequence of a temporary illness or trauma during...

. Mental disorders (also known as psychiatric or psychosocial disability) and various types of chronic disease may also qualify as disabilities.

Some advocates object to describing certain conditions (notably deafness
Deaf culture
Deaf culture describes the social beliefs, behaviors, art, literary traditions, history, values and shared institutions of communities that are affected by deafness and which use sign languages as the main means of communication. When used as a cultural label, the word deaf is often written with a...

 and autism
Autism spectrum
The term "autism spectrum" is often used to describe disorders that are currently classified as pervasive developmental disorders. Pervasive developmental disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise...

) as "disabilities", arguing that it is more appropriate to consider them developmental differences that have been unfairly stigmatized by society.

A disability may occur during a person's lifetime or may be present from birth.

Types of disability


Disability is caused by impairments to various subsystems of the body - these can be broadly sorted into the following categories.

Physical disability



Any impairment which limits the physical function of limbs or fine or gross motor ability is a physical disability. Other physical disabilities include impairments which limit other facets of daily living, such as severe sleep apnea
Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Similarly, each abnormally low...

.

Sensory disability


Sensory disability is impairment of one of the senses. The term is used primarily to refer to vision and hearing impairment, but other senses can be impaired.

Visual impairment



Visual impairment (or vision impairment) is vision loss
Vision loss
Vision loss or visual loss is the absence of vision where it existed before, which can happen either acutely or chronically .-Ranges of vision loss:...

 (of a person) to such a degree as to qualify as an additional support need through a significant limitation of visual
Visual perception
Visual perception is the ability to interpret information and surroundings from the effects of visible light reaching the eye. The resulting perception is also known as eyesight, sight, or vision...

 capability resulting from either disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

, trauma
Physical trauma
Trauma refers to "a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury, as from violence or accident." It can also be described as "a physical wound or injury, such as a fracture or blow." Major trauma can result in secondary complications such as circulatory shock, respiratory failure and death...

, or congenital or degenerative conditions that cannot be corrected by conventional means, such as refractive correction, medication, or surgery. This functional loss of vision is typically defined to manifest with
  1. best corrected visual acuity
    Visual acuity
    Visual acuity is acuteness or clearness of vision, which is dependent on the sharpness of the retinal focus within the eye and the sensitivity of the interpretative faculty of the brain....

     of less than 20/60, or significant central field defect,
  2. significant peripheral field defect including homonymous or heteronymous bilateral visual, field defect or generalized contraction or constriction of field, or
  3. reduced peak contrast sensitivity with either of the above conditions.

Hearing impairment



Hearing impairment or hard of hearing or deafness refers to conditions in which individuals are fully or partially unable to detect or perceive at least some frequencies of sound which can typically be heard by most people. Mild hearing loss may sometimes not be considered a disability.

Olfactory and gustatory impairment


Impairment of the sense of smell and taste are commonly associated with aging but can also occur in younger people due to a wide variety of causes.

There are various olfactory disorders:
  • Anosmia
    Anosmia
    Anosmia is a lack of functioning olfaction, or in other words, an inability to perceive odors. Anosmia may be either temporary or permanent. A related term, hyposmia, refers to a decreased ability to smell, while hyperosmia refers to an increased ability to smell. Some people may be anosmic for one...

     – inability to smell
  • Dysosmia
    Dysosmia
    Dysosmia, also known as olfactory dysfunction, is the impairment of olfactory stimuli processing leading to an altered sense of smell.These dysfunctions can present in a variety of ways, such as the stimuli not activating the olfactory bulb, some odors being interpreted as other odors, or...

     – things smell different than they should
  • Hyperosmia
    Hyperosmia
    Hyperosmia is an increased ability to smell - for example, being able to identify the perfume of the previous occupant of a chair. It is seen in patients with cluster headaches, migraines, and adrenal cortical insufficiency , although some people possess it naturally...

     – an abnormally acute sense of smell.
  • Hyposmia
    Hyposmia
    Hyposmia is a reduced ability to smell and to detect odours. A related condition is anosmia, in which no odours can be detected. Some of the causes of olfaction problems are allergies, nasal polyps, viral infections and head trauma...

     – decreased ability to smell
  • Olfactory Reference Syndrome
    Olfactory Reference Syndrome
    Olfactory Reference Syndrome is a psychiatric condition in which the affected person is excessively preoccupied by the concern that one's body odor is foul or unpleasant. This disorder is often accompanied by shame, embarrassment, significant distress, avoidance behavior, social phobia and social...

     – psychological disorder which causes the patient to imagine he has strong body odor
    Body odor
    Body odor or body odour, sometimes colloquially abbreviated as B.O., is the smell of bacteria growing on the body. The bacteria multiply rapidly in the presence of sweat, but sweat itself is almost completely odorless to humans....

  • Parosmia
    Parosmia
    Parosmia, also known as troposmia or cacosmia, is an olfactory dysfunction that is characterized by the inability of the brain to properly identify an odor’s “natural” smell....

     – things smell worse than they should
  • Phantosmia
    Phantosmia
    Phantosmia, or olfactory hallucinations, involves smelling odors that are not derived from any physical stimulus. These phantom odors can range from rotting flesh to a spring meadow, though most cases report unpleasant aromas...

     – "hallucinated smell," often unpleasant in nature

Complete loss of the sense of taste is known as ageusia
Ageusia
Ageusia is the loss of taste functions of the tongue, particularly the inability to detect sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and umami . It is sometimes confused with anosmia - a loss of the sense of smell...

, while dysgeusia
Dysgeusia
Dysgeusia is the distortion of the sense of taste. Dysgeusia is also often associated with ageusia, which is the complete lack of taste, and hypogeusia, which is the decrease in taste sensitivity. An alteration in taste or smell may be a secondary process in various disease states, or it may be...

 is persistent abnormal sense of taste,

Somatosensory impairment



Insensitivity to stimuli such as touch, heat, cold, and pain are often an adjunct to a more general physical impairment involving neural pathways and is very commonly associated with paralysis (in which the motor neural circuits are also affected).

Balance disorder



A balance disorder is a disturbance that causes an individual to feel unsteady, for example when standing or walking. It may be accompanied by symptoms of being giddy, woozy, or have a sensation of movement, spinning, or floating. Balance is the result of several body systems working together. The eyes (visual system), ears (vestibular system) and the body's sense of where it is in space (proprioception) need to be intact. The brain, which compiles this information, needs to be functioning effectively.

Intellectual disability


Intellectual disability is a broad concept that ranges from mental retardation to cognitive deficits too mild or too specific (as in specific learning disability) to qualify as mental retardation. Intellectual disabilities may appear at any age. Mental retardation is a subtype of intellectual disability, and the term intellectual disability is now preferred by many advocates in most English-speaking countries as a euphemism
Euphemism
A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, inoffensive, relatively uncontroversial phrase for another more frank expression that might offend or otherwise suggest something unpleasant to the audience...

 for mental retardation.

Mental health and emotional disabilities



A mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern generally associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual, and which are not a part of normal development or culture. The recognition and understanding of mental health conditions has changed over time and across cultures, and there are still variations in the definition, assessment, and classification of mental disorders
Classification of mental disorders
The classification of mental disorders, also known as psychiatric nosology or taxonomy, is a key aspect of psychiatry and other mental health professions and an important issue for consumers and providers of mental health services...

, although standard guideline criteria are widely accepted.

Developmental disability


Developmental disability is any disability that results in problems with growth and development
Human development (biology)
Human development is the process of growing to maturity. In biological terms, this entails growth from a one-celled zygote to an adult human being.- Biological development:...

. Although the term is often used as a synonym or euphemism for intellectual disability, the term also encompasses many congenital medical conditions that have no mental or intellectual components, for example spina bifida
Spina bifida
Spina bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube. Some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. If the opening is large enough, this allows a portion of the spinal cord to protrude through...

.

Nonvisible disabilities



Several chronic disorders, such as diabetes, asthma
Asthma
Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...

 or epilepsy
Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder characterized by seizures. These seizures are transient signs and/or symptoms of abnormal, excessive or hypersynchronous neuronal activity in the brain.About 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, and nearly two out of every three new cases...

, would be counted as nonvisible disabilities, as opposed to disabilities which are clearly visible, such as using a wheelchair
Wheelchair
A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, designed to be a replacement for walking. The device comes in variations where it is propelled by motors or by the seated occupant turning the rear wheels by hand. Often there are handles behind the seat for someone else to do the pushing...

.

People-first language


The American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...

 style guide
APA style
American Psychological Association Style is a set of rules that authors use when submitting papers for publications in APA journals. The APA states that they were developed to assist reading comprehension in the social and behavioral sciences, for clarity of communication, and to "move the idea...

 states that, when identifying a person with an impairment, the person's name or pronoun should come first, and descriptions of the impairment/disability should be used so that the impairment is identified, but is not modifying the person. Improper examples are "a borderline
Borderline personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder is a personality disorder described as a prolonged disturbance of personality function in a person , characterized by depth and variability of moods.The disorder typically involves unusual levels of instability in mood; black and white thinking, or splitting; the...

", "a blind
Blindness
Blindness is the condition of lacking visual perception due to physiological or neurological factors.Various scales have been developed to describe the extent of vision loss and define blindness...

 person", or "an autistic
Autism spectrum
The term "autism spectrum" is often used to describe disorders that are currently classified as pervasive developmental disorders. Pervasive developmental disorders include autism, Asperger syndrome, Childhood disintegrative disorder, Rett syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise...

 boy"; more acceptable terminology includes "a woman with Down syndrome
Down syndrome
Down syndrome, or Down's syndrome, trisomy 21, is a chromosomal condition caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British physician who described the syndrome in 1866. The condition was clinically described earlier in the 19th...

" or "a man who has schizophrenia
Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social...

". It also states that a person's adaptive equipment should be described functionally as something that assists a person, not as something that limits a person, e.g., "a woman who uses a wheelchair" rather than "a woman in/confined to a wheelchair."

A similar kind of "people-first" terminology is also used in the UK, but more often in the form "people with impairments" (e.g., "people with visual impairments"). However, in the UK, the term "disabled people" is generally preferred to "people with disabilities". It is argued under the social model
Social model of disability
The social model of disability is a reaction to the dominant medical model of disability which in itself is a Cartesian functional analysis of the body as machine to be fixed in order to conform with normative values...

 that while someone's impairment (e.g., having a spinal cord injury) is an individual property, "disability" is something created by external societal factors such as a lack of wheelchair access to the workplace. This distinction between the individual property of impairment and the social property of disability is central to the social model
Social model of disability
The social model of disability is a reaction to the dominant medical model of disability which in itself is a Cartesian functional analysis of the body as machine to be fixed in order to conform with normative values...

. The term "disabled people" as a political construction is also widely used by international organisations of disabled people, such as Disabled Peoples' International
Disabled Peoples' International
Disabled Peoples' International, The organization's name is incorrectly spelled in its official form with the possessive of "peoples" instead of the possessive of "people"...

 (DPI).

Literature


Many books on disability and disability rights point out that "disabled" is an identity that one is not necessarily born with, as disabilities are more often acquired than congenital. Some disability rights activists use an acronym TAB, "Temporarily Able-Bodied", as a reminder that many people will develop disabilities at some point in their lives due to accidents, illness
Illness
Illness is a state of poor health. Illness is sometimes considered another word for disease. Others maintain that fine distinctions exist...

 (physical, mental or emotional), or late-emerging effects of genetics.

Masculinity


According to author Daniel J. Wilson, the characteristics of masculinity
Masculinity
Masculinity is possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man. The term can be used to describe any human, animal or object that has the quality of being masculine...

 include strength, activeness, speed, endurance, and courage. These characteristics are often challenged when faced with a disability and the boy or man must reshape what it means to be masculine. For example, rather than define "being a man" through what one can physically do, one must re-define it by how one faces the world with a disability and all the obstacles and stereotypes that come with the disability.

In Leonard Kriegel's book, Flying Solo, he describes his fight with poliomyelitis
Poliomyelitis
Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an acute viral infectious disease spread from person to person, primarily via the fecal-oral route...

 and the process of accepting his disability in a world that values able-bodiedness. He writes, "I had to learn to be my own hero, my own role model – which is another way of saying that I had to learn to live with neither heroes nor role models" (pg. 40).

Femininity


Some note that women who are disabled face what is called a "double disability", meaning they must not only deal with the stereotypes and challenges posed by femininity
Femininity
Femininity is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with girls and women. Though socially constructed, femininity is made up of both socially defined and biologically created factors...

, but they must also deal with those posed by being disabled. Culture also tends to view women as fragile and weaker than men, stereotypes which are only heightened when a woman has a disability.

According to the "Survey of Income and Program Participation", as described in the book Gendering Disability, 74 percent of women participants and 90 percent of men participants without disabilities were employed. In comparison, of those with a form of disability, 41 percent of women and 51 percent of men were employed. Furthermore, the nondisabled women participants were paid approximately $4.00 less per hour than the nondisabled men participants. With a disability, women were paid approximately $1.00 less than the nondisabled women participants and the men were paid approximately $2.00 less than the nondisabled men participants. As these results suggest, women without disabilities face societal hardships as compared to men, but disability added to the equation increases the hardships.

Theory


The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, also known as ICF, is a classification of the health components of functioning and disability....

 (ICF), produced by the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

, distinguishes between body functions (physiological or psychological, e.g., vision) and body structures (anatomical parts, e.g., the eye and related structures). Impairment in bodily structure or function is defined as involving an anomaly, defect, loss or other significant deviation from certain generally accepted population standards, which may fluctuate over time. Activity is defined as the execution of a task or action. The ICF lists 9 broad domains of functioning which can be affected:
  • Learning and applying knowledge
  • General tasks and demands
  • Communication
  • Basic physical mobility, Domestic life, and Self-care (i.e., activities of daily living
    Activities of daily living
    Activities of Daily Living is a term used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual's place of residence, in outdoor environments, or both...

    )
  • Interpersonal interactions and relationships
  • Community, social and civic life, including employment
    Employment
    Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

  • Other major life areas


In concert with disability scholars, the introduction to the ICF states that a variety of conceptual models has been proposed to understand and explain disability and functioning, which it seeks to integrate. These models include the following:

The medical model


The medical model is presented as viewing disability as a problem of the person, directly caused by disease, trauma, or other health condition which therefore requires sustained medical care provided in the form of individual treatment by professionals. In the medical model, management of the disability is aimed at a "cure," or the individual’s adjustment and behavioral change that would lead to an "almost-cure" or effective cure. In the medical model, medical care is viewed as the main issue, and at the political level, the principal response is that of modifying or reforming healthcare policy.

The social model


The social model of disability sees the issue of "disability" as a socially created problem and a matter of the full integration of individuals into society (see Inclusion (disability rights)
Inclusion (disability rights)
Inclusion is a term used by people with disabilities and other disability rights advocates for the idea that all people should freely, openly and without pity accommodate any person with a disability without restrictions or limitations of any kind...

). In this model, disability is not an attribute of an individual, but rather a complex collection of conditions, many of which are created by the social environment. Hence, the management of the problem requires social action and it is the collective responsibility of society at large to make the environmental modifications necessary for the full participation of people with disabilities in all areas of social life. The issue is both cultural and ideological, requiring individual, community, and large-scale social change. From this perspective, equal access for someone with an impairment/disability is a human rights issue of major concern.

Other models


  • The spectrum model refers to the range of visibility, audibility and sensibility under which mankind functions. The model asserts that disability does not necessarily mean reduced spectrum of operations.
  • The moral model refers to the attitude that people are morally responsible for their own disability. For example disability may be seen as a result of bad actions of parents if congenital, or as a result of practicing witchcraft if not. This attitude may also be viewed as a religious fundamentalist offshoot of the original animal
    Animal
    Animals are a major group of multicellular, eukaryotic organisms of the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. Their body plan eventually becomes fixed as they develop, although some undergo a process of metamorphosis later on in their life. Most animals are motile, meaning they can move spontaneously and...

     roots of human beings when humans killed any baby that could not survive on its own in the wild. Echoes of this can be seen in the doctrine of karma
    Karma
    Karma in Indian religions is the concept of "action" or "deed", understood as that which causes the entire cycle of cause and effect originating in ancient India and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh philosophies....

     in Indian religions.
  • The expert/professional model has provided a traditional response to disability issues and can be seen as an offshoot of the medical model. Within its framework, professionals follow a process of identifying the impairment and its limitations (using the medical model), and taking the necessary action to improve the position of the disabled person. This has tended to produce a system in which an authoritarian, over-active service provider prescribes and acts for a passive client.
  • The tragedy/charity model depicts disabled people as victims of circumstance who are deserving of pity
    Pity
    Pity originally means feeling for others, particularly feelings of sadness or sorrow, and was once used in a comparable sense to the more modern words "sympathy" and "empathy"...

    . This, along with the medical model, are the models most used by non-disabled people to define and explain disability.
  • The legitimacy model views disability as a value-based determination about which explanations for the atypical are legitimate for membership in the disability category. This viewpoint allows for multiple explanations and models to be considered as purposive and viable.
  • The social adapted model states although a person’s disability poses some limitations in an able-bodied society, oftentimes the surrounding society and environment are more limiting than the disability itself.
  • The economic model defines disability by a person’s inability to participate in work. It also assesses the degree to which impairment affects an individual’s productivity and the economic consequences for the individual, employer and the state. Such consequences include loss of earnings for and payment for assistance by the individual; lower profit margins for the employer; and state welfare payments. This model is directly related to the charity/tragedy model.
  • The empowering model allows for the person with a disability and his/her family to decide the course of their treatment and what services they wish to benefit from. This, in turn, turns the professional into a service provider whose role is to offer guidance and carry out the client’s decisions. This model “empowers” the individual to pursue his/her own goals.
  • The market model of disability is minority rights and consumerist model of disability that recognizing people with disabilities and their stakeholders as representing a large group of consumers, employees and voters. This model looks to personal identity to define disability and empowers people to chart their own destiny in everyday life, with a particular focus on economic empowerment. By this model, based on US Census data, there are 1.2 billion people in the world who consider themselves to have a disability. An additional two billion people are considered stakeholders in disability (family/friends/employers), and when combined to the number of people without disabilities, represents 53% of the population. This model states that, due to the size of the demographic, companies and governments will serve the desires, pushed by demand as the message becomes prevalent in the cultural mainstream.

Assistive technology



Assistive Technology
Assistive technology
Assistive technology or adaptive technology is an umbrella term that includes assistive, adaptive, and rehabilitative devices for people with disabilities and also includes the process used in selecting, locating, and using them...

 is a generic term for devices and modifications (for a person or within a society) that help overcome or remove a disability. The first recorded example of the use of a prosthesis
Prosthesis
In medicine, a prosthesis, prosthetic, or prosthetic limb is an artificial device extension that replaces a missing body part. It is part of the field of biomechatronics, the science of using mechanical devices with human muscle, skeleton, and nervous systems to assist or enhance motor control...

 dates to at least 1800 BC. The wheelchair
Wheelchair
A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, designed to be a replacement for walking. The device comes in variations where it is propelled by motors or by the seated occupant turning the rear wheels by hand. Often there are handles behind the seat for someone else to do the pushing...

 dates from the 17th century. The curb cut
Curb cut
A curb cut , curb ramp, dropped kerb , pram ramp, or kerb ramp is a solid ramp graded down from the top surface of a sidewalk to the surface of an adjoining street. It is designed for pedestrian uses and commonly found in urban areas where pedestrian activity is expected...

 is a related structural innovation. Other examples are standing frames, text telephones, accessible keyboards
Keyboard (computing)
In computing, a keyboard is a typewriter-style keyboard, which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys, to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches...

, large print, Braille
Braille
The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing.Braille was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two...

, & speech recognition
Speech recognition
Speech recognition converts spoken words to text. The term "voice recognition" is sometimes used to refer to recognition systems that must be trained to a particular speaker—as is the case for most desktop recognition software...

 computer software
Computer software
Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it....

. People with disabilities often develop personal or community adaptations, such as strategies to suppress tics in public (for example in Tourette's syndrome), or sign language
Sign language
A sign language is a language which, instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns, uses visually transmitted sign patterns to convey meaning—simultaneously combining hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to fluidly express a speaker's...

 in deaf communities. Assistive technology or interventions are sometimes controversial or rejected, for example in the controversy over cochlear implants for children.
As the personal computer
Personal computer
A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...

 has become more ubiquitous, various organizations have formed to develop software
Software development
Software development is the development of a software product...

 and hardware
Computer hardware
Personal computer hardware are component devices which are typically installed into or peripheral to a computer case to create a personal computer upon which system software is installed including a firmware interface such as a BIOS and an operating system which supports application software that...

 to make computers more accessible for people with disabilities. Some software and hardware, such as Voice Finger
Voice Finger
Voice Finger is a software tool for Windows Vista and Windows 7 that enables users to control the mouse cursor and keyboard through speech recognition...

, SmartboxAT's The Grid, Freedom Scientific
Freedom Scientific
Freedom Scientific is a corporation which researches, creates, and sells technology intended for people who are blind or have low vision and those with learning disabilities. The company's Blind and Low Vision Group's products include software and hardware to help people with low vision work with...

's JAWS
JAWS (screen reader)
JAWS is a computer screen reader program in Microsoft Windows that allows blind and visually impaired users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a Refreshable Braille display....

, the Free and Open Source alternative Orca
Orca (assistive technology)
Orca is a free and open source, flexible, extensible assistive technology for people with visual impairments. Using various combinations of speech synthesis, braille, and magnification, Orca helps provide access to applications and toolkits that support the AT-SPI .The development of Orca has been...

etc. have been specifically designed for people with disabilities while other software and hardware, such as Nuance
Nuance Communications
Nuance Communications is a multinational computer software technology corporation, headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA, that provides speech and imaging applications...

's Dragon NaturallySpeaking
Dragon NaturallySpeaking
Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a speech recognition software package developed and sold by Nuance Communications for Windows personal computers. The most recent package is version 11.5, which supports 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows XP, Vista and 7. The Mac OS version is called Dragon...

, were not developed specifically for people with disabilities, but can be used to increase accessibility.
The LOMAK
LOMAK
LOMAK is an acronym for Light Operated Mouse And Keyboard. It is an assistive technology device designed for use by people who cannot use a standard computer keyboard and mouse. The Lomak is clipped to an adjustable stand placed vertically underneath the computer screen and is operated by a small...

 keyboard was designed in New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 specifically for persons with disabilities. The Internet is also used by disability activists and charities to network and further their goals. Organizations, such as AbilityNet
AbilityNet
AbilityNet is a UK based charity that provides guidance, information, assessment and training on the subject of computing and disability.In the 1980s a small team of people at IBM helped disabled people adapt and adjust their computers...

 and U Can Do IT
U Can Do IT
U Can Do IT ' is a London-based charity which provides one-to-one tuition in Information Technology to people with disabilities.U Can Do IT believes that behind a computer, everyone is equal....

 in the US, provide assessment services that determine which assistive technologies will best assist an individual client. These organizations also train disabled people in how to use computer-based assistive technology.

Adapted sports




The Paralympic Games
Paralympic Games
The Paralympic Games are a major international multi-sport event where athletes with a physical disability compete; this includes athletes with mobility disabilities, amputations, blindness, and Cerebral Palsy. There are Winter and Summer Paralympic Games, which are held immediately following their...

 (meaning "alongside the Olympics") are held after the (Summer and Winter) Olympics. The Paralympic Games include athletes with a wide range of physical disabilities. In member countries organizations exist to organize competition in the Paralympic sports on levels ranging from recreational to elite (for example, BlazeSports America
BlazeSports America
BlazeSports America is a national nonprofit 501 organization based in Atlanta,Georgia that provides sport and physical activity opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities.-History:...

 in the United States).

The Paralympics developed from a rehabilitation programme for British war veterans with spinal injuries. In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttman, a neurologist working with World War II veterans with spinal injuries at Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Stoke Mandeville Hospital
Stoke Mandeville Hospital is a large National Health Service hospital within Aylesbury Urban Area to the south of the town of Aylesbury, near the village of Stoke Mandeville in Buckinghamshire...

 in Aylesbury
Aylesbury
Aylesbury is the county town of Buckinghamshire in South East England. However the town also falls into a geographical region known as the South Midlands an area that ecompasses the north of the South East, and the southern extremities of the East Midlands...

 in the UK, began using sport as part of the rehabilitation programmes of his patients.

In 2006, the Extremity Games
Extremity Games
The Extremity Games is an adapitve sports competition, similar to the X Games, for athletes with amputations and limb differences. The Extremity Games was started by College Park Industries, a manufacturer of prosthetic feet, in the summer of 2006 in Orlando, Florida...

 was formed for people with physical disabilities, specifically limb loss or limb difference, to be able to compete in extreme sports. A manufacturer of prosthetics, College Park Industries, organized the event to give disabled athletes a venue to compete in this increasingly popular sports genre also referred to as action sports. This annual event, held in the summer in Orlando, Florida, includes competitions in skateboarding
Skateboarding
Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard.Skateboarding can be a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2002 report...

, wakeboarding
Wakeboarding
Wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water. It was developed from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques....

, rock climbing
Rock climbing
Rock climbing also lightly called 'The Gravity Game', is a sport in which participants climb up, down or across natural rock formations or artificial rock walls. The goal is to reach the summit of a formation or the endpoint of a pre-defined route without falling...

, mountain biking
Mountain biking
Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially adapted mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.Mountain biking can...

, surfing
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

, motocross
Motocross
Motocross is a form of motorcycle sport or all-terrain vehicle racing held on enclosed off road circuits. It evolved from trials, and was called scrambles, and later motocross, combining the French moto with cross-country...

 and kayaking
Kayaking
Kayaking is the use of a kayak for moving across water. Kayaking and canoeing are also known as paddling. Kayaking is distinguished from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle...

. Non-profit organizations have created programs to advance adaptive sports for regular recreation and sport opportunities.

United Nations


On December 13, 2006, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 formally agreed on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities...

, the first human rights treaty of the 21st century, to protect and enhance the rights and opportunities of the world's estimated 650 million disabled people. As of April 2011, 99 of the 147 signatories had ratified the Convention. Countries that sign the convention are required to adopt national laws, and remove old ones, so that persons with disabilities will, for example, have equal rights to education, employment, and cultural life; to the right to own and inherit property; to not be discriminated against in marriage, etc.; to not be unwilling subjects in medical experiments.

In 1976, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 launched its International Year for Disabled Persons (1981), later re-named the International Year of Disabled Persons
International Year of Disabled Persons
The year 1981 was proclaimed the International Year of Disabled Persons by the United Nations. It called for a plan of action with an emphasis on equalization of opportunities, rehabilitation and prevention of disabilities...

. The UN Decade of Disabled Persons (1983–1993) featured a World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons. In 1979, Frank Bowe
Frank Bowe
Frank G. Bowe was the Dr. Mervin Livingston Schloss Distinguished Professor for the Study of Disabilities at Hofstra University. As a disability rights activist, author, and teacher, he accomplished a series of firsts for individuals with disabilities.- "Father of Section 504" :Dr...

 was the only person with a disability representing any country in the planning of IYDP-1981. Today, many countries have named representatives who are themselves individuals with disabilities. The decade was closed in an address before the General Assembly by Robert Davila. Both Bowe and Davila are deaf. In 1984, UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 accepted sign language
Sign language
A sign language is a language which, instead of acoustically conveyed sound patterns, uses visually transmitted sign patterns to convey meaning—simultaneously combining hand shapes, orientation and movement of the hands, arms or body, and facial expressions to fluidly express a speaker's...

 for use in education of deaf children and youth.

Costa Rica


Under the Ley de Igualdad de Oportunidades (Law of Equal Opportunities), no person can be discriminated by their disabilities if they are equally capable as another person. This law also promotes that public places and transport should have facilities that enable people with disabilities to access them.

May 28 is the Día Nacional de la Persona con Discapacidad (National Disabled People Day) to promote respect for this population.

Currently the political party Partido de Acceso Sin Exclusión (Access Without Exclusion Party) fights for the rights of disabled persons, and one congressman, Oscar López
Óscar López (politician)
Óscar López is a Costa Rican politician with the Accessibility without Exclusion party. He ran for the President of Costa Rica in February 2010 and received 35,215 votes , finishing in 5th place. He is running to be the Mayor of San José in the December 2010 municipal elections.-References:...

, is blind.

United Kingdom


Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010 , except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies...

 (1995, extended in 2005), it is unlawful for organisations to discriminate (treat a disabled person less favourably, for reasons related to the person's disability, without justification) in employment; access to goods, facilities, services; managing, buying or renting land or property; education. Businesses must make "reasonable adjustments" to their policies or practices, or physical aspects of their premises, to avoid indirect discrimination.

Since 2010 the Disability Discrimination Act has been replaced with the Equality Act 2010. This act still protects disabled people against discrimination but also encompasses a number of other characteristics including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage, pregnancy, race, religion, sex and sexual orientation.

A number of financial and care support services are available, including Incapacity Benefit
Incapacity benefit
Incapacity Benefit is a United Kingdom state benefit that is paid to those below the State Pension age who cannot work because of illness or disability and have made National Insurance contributions. It is administered by Jobcentre Plus...

 and Disability Living Allowance
Disability Living Allowance
Disability living allowance is a non-means-tested, non-contributory benefit which can be claimed by a UK resident aged under 65 years who has care and/or mobility needs as a result of a mental or physical disability...

.

Employment


The Employers' Forum on Disability (EFD) is a membership organisation of UK businesses. Following the introduction of the DDA the membership of EFD recognised the need for a tool with which they could measure their performance on disability year on year.

In 2005 80 organisations took part in the Disability Standard
Disability Standard
The Disability Standard is a benchmarking assessment run by Employers' Forum on Disability.Best described as a management tool for employers, the Disability Standard acts as a statistical study providing us with a snapshot of UK businesses performance on disability in line with the disability...

 benchmark providing the first statistics highlighting the UK's performance as a nation of employers.

Following the success of the first benchmark
Benchmarking
Benchmarking is the process of comparing one's business processes and performance metrics to industry bests and/or best practices from other industries. Dimensions typically measured are quality, time and cost...

 Disability Standard 2007 saw the introduction of the Chief Executives' Diamond Awards for outstanding performance and 116 organisations taking the opportunity to compare trends across a large group of UK employers and monitor the progress they had made on disability.

2009 will see the third benchmark, Disability Standard
Disability Standard
The Disability Standard is a benchmarking assessment run by Employers' Forum on Disability.Best described as a management tool for employers, the Disability Standard acts as a statistical study providing us with a snapshot of UK businesses performance on disability in line with the disability...

 2009. EFD have promised that for the first time they will publish a list of the top ten performers who will be honoured at an award ceremony in December 2009.

Discrimination in employment


The US Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires all organizations that receive government funding to provide accessibility programs and services. A more recent law, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is a law that was enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009....

 (ADA), which came into effect in 1992, prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application
Application for employment
An application for employment, job application, or application form is a form or collection of forms that an individual seeking employment, called an applicant, must fill out as part of the process of informing an employer of the applicant's availability and desire to be employed, and persuading...

 procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, or in the terms, conditions and privileges of employment. This includes organizations like retail businesses, movie theaters, and restaurants. They must make "reasonable accommodation" to people with different needs. Protection is extended to anyone with (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual, (B) a record of such an impairment, or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment. The second and third criteria are seen as ensuring protection from unjust discrimination based on a perception of risk, just because someone has a record of impairment or appears to have a disability or illness (e.g. features which may be erroneously taken as signs of an illness).

African Americans and disability


According to the 2000 U.S. Census, the African American community has the highest rate of disability at 20.8 percent, slightly higher than the overall disability rate of 19.4%. Although people have come to better understand and accept different types of disability, there still remains a stigma attached to the disabled community. African Americans with a disability are subject to not only this stigma but also to the additional forces of race discrimination. African American women who have a disability face tremendous discrimination due to their condition, race, and gender. Doctor Eddie Glenn of Howard University describes this situation as the "triple jeopardy" syndrome.

Social Security Administration


The US Social Security Administration
Social Security Administration
The United States Social Security Administration is an independent agency of the United States federal government that administers Social Security, a social insurance program consisting of retirement, disability, and survivors' benefits...

 defines disability in terms of inability to perform substantial gainful activity (SGA), by which it means “work paying minimum wage or better”. The agency pairs SGA with a "listing" of medical conditions that qualify individuals for benefits.

Education


Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a United States federal law that governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to children with disabilities...

, special educational support is limited to children and youth falling into one of a dozen disability categories (e.g., specific learning disability) and adds that, to be eligible, students may require both special education (modified instruction) and related services (supports such as speech and language pathology).

Insurance


It is illegal for California insurers to refuse to provide car insurance
Vehicle insurance
Vehicle insurance is insurance purchased for cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other road vehicles. Its primary use is to provide financial protection against physical damage and/or bodily injury resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could also arise therefrom...

 to properly licensed drivers solely because they have a disability. It is also illegal for them to refuse to provide car insurance "on the basis that the owner of the motor vehicle to be insured is blind," but they are allowed to exclude coverage for injuries and damages incurred while a blind unlicensed owner is actually operating the vehicle (the law is apparently structured to allow blind people to buy and insure cars which their friends, family, and caretakers can drive for them).

Difficulties in measuring


The demography
Demography
Demography is the statistical study of human population. It can be a very general science that can be applied to any kind of dynamic human population, that is, one that changes over time or space...

 of disability is difficult. Counting persons with disabilities is challenging. That is because disability is not just a status condition, entirely contained within the individual. Rather, it is an interaction between medical status (say, having low vision
Low vision
Low vision is a subspecialty within the professions of optometry and ophthalmology dealing with individuals who have reduced vision even when using the best possible spectacle or contact lens correction available. It can be a result of either congenital disease Low vision is a subspecialty within...

 or being blind) and the environment.

Estimates worldwide


Estimates of worldwide and country-wide numbers of individuals with disabilities are problematic. The varying approaches taken to defining disability notwithstanding, demographers agree that the world population of individuals with disabilities is very large. For example, in 2004, the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 estimated a world population of 6.5 billion people, of those nearly 100 million people were estimated to be moderately or severely disabled.
In the United States, Americans with disabilities constitute the third-largest minority (after persons of Hispanic origin and African Americans); all three of those minority groups number in the 30-some millions in America. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, as of 2004, there were some 32 million disabled adults (aged 18 or over) in the United States, plus another 5 million children and youth (under age 18). If one were to add impairments—or limitations that fall short of being disabilities—Census estimates put the figure at 51 million.

There is also widespread agreement among experts in the field that disability is more common in developing than in developed nations.

Nearly eight million men in Europe returned from the World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 permanently disabled by injury or disease.

About 150,000 Vietnam veteran
Vietnam veteran
Vietnam veteran is a phrase used to describe someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War.The term has been used to describe veterans who were in the armed forces of South Vietnam, the United States armed forces, and countries allied to them, whether or...

s came home wounded, and at least 21,000 were permanently disabled. Increased US military involvement has resulted in a significant increase of disabled military personnel since 2001. According to Fox News, this is a '25 percent' rise, with more than '2.9 million' total veterans now disabled.

After years of war in Afghanistan, there are more than one million disabled people. Afghanistan has one of the highest incidences of people with disabilities in the world. An estimated 80,000 Afghans have lost limbs, mainly as a result of landmines.

Political issues



Political rights
Rights
Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory...

, social inclusion and citizenship
Citizenship
Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

 have come to the fore in developed and some developing countries. The debate has moved beyond a concern about the perceived cost of maintaining dependent people with disabilities to an effort of finding effective ways to ensure that people with disabilities can participate in and contribute to society in all spheres of life.

Many are concerned, however, that the greatest need is in developing nations—where the vast bulk of the estimated 650 million people with disabilities reside. A great deal of work is needed to address concerns ranging from accessibility and education to self-empowerment and self-supporting employment and beyond.

In the past few years, disability rights activists have also focused on obtaining full citizenship for the disabled.

However obstacles reside in some countries in getting full employment, also public perception of disabled people may vary in areas.

Disability rights movement



The disability rights movement is the movement to secure equal opportunities and equal rights for people with disabilities. The specific goals and demands of the movement are: accessibility
Accessibility
Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product, device, service, or environment is available to as many people as possible. Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" and benefit from some system or entity...

 and safety
Safety
Safety is the state of being "safe" , the condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types or consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be...

 in transportation, architecture, and the physical environment, equal opportunities in independent living, employment, education, and housing, and freedom from abuse, neglect, and violations of patients' rights. Effective civil rights legislation is sought in order to secure these opportunities and rights.

Disability insurance


Disability benefit, or disability pension
Disability pension
A disability pension is a form of pension given to those people who are permanently or temporarily unable to work due to a disability. It is distinct from welfare.- North America :...

, is a major kind of disability insurance
Disability insurance
Disability Insurance, often called DI or disability income insurance, is a form of insurance that insures the beneficiary's earned income against the risk that a disability will make working uncomfortable , painful , or impossible...

, and is provided by government agencies to people who are temporarily or permanently unable to work due to a disability. In the U.S., disability benefit is provided within the category of Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income
Supplemental Security Income is a United States government program that provides stipends to low-income people who are either aged , blind, or disabled. Although administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI is funded from the U.S. Treasury general funds, not the Social Security trust fund...

, and in Canada, within the Canada Pension Plan
Canada Pension Plan
The Canada Pension Plan is a contributory, earnings-related social insurance program. It forms one of the two major components of Canada's public retirement income system, the other component being Old Age Security...

. In other countries, disability benefit may be provided under Social security
Social security
Social security is primarily a social insurance program providing social protection or protection against socially recognized conditions, including poverty, old age, disability, unemployment and others. Social security may refer to:...

 systems.

Costs of disability pensions are steadily growing in Western countries, mainly European and the United States. It was reported that in the UK, expenditure on disability pensions accounted for 0.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1980, but two decades later had reached 2.6% of GDP. Several studies have reported a link between increased absence from work due to sickness and elevated risk of future disability pension.

A study by researchers in Denmark suggests that information on self-reported days of absence due to sickness can be used to effectively identify future potential groups for disability pension. These studies may provide useful information for policy makers, case managing authorities, employers, and physicians.

Private, for-profit disability insurance plays a role in providing incomes to disabled people, but the nationalized programs are the safety net that catch most claimants.

See also


  • Adaptive recreation
    Adaptive recreation
    Adaptive Recreation is a concept whereby people with disabilities are given the opportunity to participate in recreational activities. Through the use of activity modifications and assistive technology, athletes or participants in sports or other recreational pursuits are able to play alongside...

  • Disability discrimination act
    Disability discrimination act
    In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a number of countries have passed laws aimed at reducing discrimination against people with disabilities. These laws have begun to appear as the notion of civil rights has become more influential globally, and follow other forms of anti-discrimination and...

  • Disability etiquette
    Disability etiquette
    Disability etiquette is a term describing guidelines dealing specifically with how to approach people with disabilities.There is no consensus on when this phrase first came into use, although it most likely grew out of the Disability Rights Movement that began in the early 1970s...

  • Disability studies
    Disability studies
    Disability studies is a relatively new interdisciplinary academic field focusing on the roles of people with disabilities in history, literature, social policy, law, architecture, and other disciplines. Although it has many antecedents, disability studies began to flourish toward the end of the...

  • Disabled robotics
    Disabled robotics
    A disability robot is a robot designed to help people who have physical disabilities that impede with daily tasks. The field of expertise that creates such robots is called "disability robotics".-See also:* Powered exoskeleton* Home automation...

  • Ergonomy
  • Human variability
    Human variability
    Human variability, or human variation, is the range of possible values for any measurable characteristic, physical or mental, of human beings. Differences can be trivial or important, transient or permanent, voluntary or involuntary, congenital or acquired, genetic or environmental...

  • Invisible disability
    Invisible disability
    Invisible disabilities are disabilities that are not immediately apparent. Some people with visual or auditory disabilities who do not wear glasses or hearing aids, or discreet hearing aids, may not be obviously disabled. Some people who have vision loss may wear contacts...

  • List of disability rights organizations
  • List of physically disabled politicians
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is an international human rights instrument of the United Nations intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities...

  • Orthopedics
    Orthopedics
    Orthopedics is the study of the musculoskeletal system. The Greek word 'ortho' means straight or correct and 'pedics' comes from the Greek 'pais' meaning children. For many centuries, orthopedists have been involved in the treatment of crippled children...

  • Out From Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember
    Out From Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember
    Out from Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember is a traveling exhibition that explores the history of disability within the lives of Canadians....

     (traveling exhibition)
  • Passing
  • Psychophobia
  • Sexuality and disability
    Sexuality and disability
    Sexuality and disability is the study of sexual behaviour and practices of a person with a disability. Physical disability such as a spinal cord injury may change the sexual functioning of a person. However, the disabled person may enjoy sex with the help of sex toys or by finding suitable sex...

  • Special education
    Special education
    Special education is the education of students with special needs in a way that addresses the students' individual differences and needs. Ideally, this process involves the individually planned and systematically monitored arrangement of teaching procedures, adapted equipment and materials,...

  • Ugly law
    Ugly law
    From the late 1860s until the 1970s, several American cities had ugly laws making it illegal for persons with "unsightly or disgusting" disabilities to appear in public. Some of these laws were called Unsightly Beggar Ordinances...


Further reading

  • Frank Bowe, Handicapping America: Barriers to disabled people, Harper & Row, 1978 ISBN 0-06-010422-8
  • Burch, Susan, “(Extraordinary) Bodies of Knowledge: Recent Scholarship in American Disability History,” OAH Magazine of History, 23 (July 2009), 29–34.
  • DePoy, E., & Gilson, S.F. (2004). Rethinking disability: Principles for professional and social change. Pacific Grove, CA: Wadsworth. ISBN 978-0-534-54929-9
  • Encyclopedia of disability, general ed. Gary L. Albrecht, Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.], SAGE Publications
    SAGE Publications
    SAGE is an independent academic publisher of books, journals, and electronic products in the humanities and social sciences and the scientific, technical, and medical fields. SAGE was founded in 1965 by George McCune and Sara Miller McCune. The company is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California,...

    , 2005
  • Glenn, Eddie. March 20, 1997. "African American Women with Disabilities: An Overview."
  • David Johnstone, An Introduction to Disability Studies, 2001, 2nd edition, ISBN 1-85346-726-X
  • Kaushik, R., 1999, "Access Denied: Can we overcome disabling attitudes," Museum International (UNESCO), Vol. 51, No. 3, p. 48–52.
  • Lansing, Michael J., “‘Salvaging the Man Power of America’: Conservation, Manhood, and Disabled Veterans during World War I,” Environmental History, 14 (Jan. 2009), 32–57.
  • Longmore, Paul, “Making Disability an Essential Part of American History,” OAH Magazine of History, 23 (July 2009), 11–15.
  • Oliver, Michael. The Politics of Disablement, St. Martin's Press
    St. Martin's Press
    St. Martin's Press is a book publisher headquartered in the Flatiron Building in New York City. Currently, St. Martin's Press is one of the United States' largest publishers, bringing to the public some 700 titles a year under eight imprints, which include St. Martin's Press , St...

    1997, ISBN 0-333-43293-2
  • Nikora, L.; Karapu, R.; Hickey, H.; & Awekotuku, N., Researchgateway.ac.nz, Disabled Maori and Disability Support Options, 2004. Retrieved on April 19, 2009.
  • Charlotte Pearson (2006) Direct Payments and Personalisation of Care, Edinburgh, Dunedin Academic Press, ISBN 1-903765-62-5
  • Tom Shakespeare, Genetic Politics: from Eugenics to Genome, with Anne Kerr, New Clarion Press, 1999, ISBN 1-873797-25-7
  • Carmelo Masala, Donatella Rita Petretto, 2008, From disablement to enablement: conceptual models of disability in the 20th century, Disability and Rehabilitation, vol. 30(17), 1233-1244.
  • Carmelo Masala, Donatella Rita Petretto, 2008, Psicologia dell'Handicap e della Riabilitazione,Kappa, Rome .

External links