What is a Disability?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability is defined as if she/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability.

  • The percentage of people living with disabilities is highest in the south.
  • 13.7% have serious difficulties walking or climbing stairs
  • 10.8% have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • 6.8% difficulty doing errands alone
  • 5.9% are deaf or have difficulty hearing
  • 4.6% are blind or having difficulty seeing
  • 3.7% have difficulty dressing or bathing independently
  •  2 in 5 are adults age 65 years or older
  • 1 in 4 women have a disability
  • adults living with disabilities are more likely to have obesity, smoke, have heart disease and diabetes.

The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities adopts the social model of disability that recognizes:

  • That disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others and;
  • Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

According to the World Report on Disability, about 15% of the world/s population lives with some form of disabilities,. of whom 2-4% experiences significant difficulties in functioning. A disability can be visible or invisible.


A disability can be occur before, during or after birth. Before birth could be a genetic problem, chromosomal , infection or exposure to chemicals. During birth can be due to lack of oxygen and after ranges from seizures, car accidents, drownings, strokes, etc.




Physical Impairments


Chronic Disabilities

Sensory Disabilities

Cognitive Disabilities

Medical Conditions


Also see:

About Special Needs;

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