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
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
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?
Adversity does teach who your real friends are.
The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.
We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.
I am neither an optimist nor pessimist, but a possibilist.
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.
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.
I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint.
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
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
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
. Such impairments may include physical, sensory
, and cognitive or developmental disabilities
. 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
) 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 disabilityDisability is caused by impairments to various subsystems of the body - these can be broadly sorted into the following categories.
Physical disabilityAny 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
Sensory disabilitySensory 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 impairmentVisual impairment (or vision impairment) is vision loss
(of a person) to such a degree as to qualify as an additional support need through a significant limitation of visual
capability resulting from either disease
, 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
- best corrected visual acuityVisual acuityVisual 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,
- significant peripheral field defect including homonymous or heteronymous bilateral visual, field defect or generalized contraction or constriction of field, or
- reduced peak contrast sensitivity with either of the above conditions.
Hearing impairmentHearing 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 impairmentImpairment 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:
- AnosmiaAnosmiaAnosmia 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
- DysosmiaDysosmiaDysosmia, 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
- HyperosmiaHyperosmiaHyperosmia 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.
- HyposmiaHyposmiaHyposmia 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 SyndromeOlfactory Reference SyndromeOlfactory 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 odorBody odorBody 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....
- ParosmiaParosmiaParosmia, 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
- PhantosmiaPhantosmiaPhantosmia, 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
, while dysgeusia
is persistent abnormal sense of taste,
Somatosensory impairmentInsensitivity 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 disorderA 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 disabilityIntellectual 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
for mental retardation.
Mental health and emotional disabilitiesA 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
, although standard guideline criteria are widely accepted.
Developmental disabilityDevelopmental disability is any disability that results in problems with growth and 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
Nonvisible disabilitiesSeveral chronic disorders, such as diabetes, asthma
, would be counted as nonvisible disabilities, as opposed to disabilities which are clearly visible, such as using a wheelchair
People-first languageThe American Psychological Association
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
", "a blind
person", or "an autistic
boy"; more acceptable terminology includes "a woman with Down syndrome
" or "a man who has schizophrenia
". 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
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
. The term "disabled people" as a political construction is also widely used by international organisations of disabled people, such as Disabled Peoples' International
LiteratureMany 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
(physical, mental or emotional), or late-emerging effects of genetics.
MasculinityAccording to author Daniel J. Wilson, the characteristics of masculinity
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
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).
FemininitySome 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
, 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.
TheoryThe International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health
(ICF), produced by the World Health Organization
, 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
- Basic physical mobility, Domestic life, and Self-care (i.e., activities of daily livingActivities of daily livingActivities 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 employmentEmploymentEmployment 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 modelThe 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 modelThe 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)
). 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.
- 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 animalAnimalAnimals 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 karmaKarmaKarma 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 pityPityPity 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 technologyAssistive Technology
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
dates to at least 1800 BC. The wheelchair
dates from the 17th century. The curb cut
is a related structural innovation. Other examples are standing frames, text telephones, accessible keyboards
, large print, Braille
, & speech recognition
. 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
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
has become more ubiquitous, various organizations have formed to develop software
to make computers more accessible for people with disabilities. Some software and hardware, such as Voice Finger
, SmartboxAT's The Grid, Freedom Scientific
, the Free and Open Source alternative Orca
etc. have been specifically designed for people with disabilities while other software and hardware, such as Nuance
's Dragon NaturallySpeaking
, were not developed specifically for people with disabilities, but can be used to increase accessibility.
keyboard was designed in New Zealand
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
and U Can Do IT
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.
(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
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
in the UK, began using sport as part of the rehabilitation programmes of his patients.
In 2006, the Extremity Games
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
, rock climbing
, mountain biking
. Non-profit organizations have created programs to advance adaptive sports for regular recreation and sport opportunities.
United NationsOn December 13, 2006, the United Nations
formally agreed on the Convention on the Rights 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
launched its International Year for Disabled Persons (1981), later re-named the International Year of Disabled Persons
. The UN Decade of Disabled Persons (1983–1993) featured a World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons. In 1979, Frank Bowe
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
accepted sign language
for use in education of deaf children and youth.
Costa RicaUnder 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
, is blind.
United KingdomUnder the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
(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
and Disability Living Allowance
EmploymentThe 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
benchmark providing the first statistics highlighting the UK's performance as a nation of employers.
Following the success of the first benchmark
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
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 employmentThe 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
(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
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 disabilityAccording 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 AdministrationThe US Social Security Administration
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.
EducationUnder the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
, 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).
InsuranceIt is illegal for California insurers to refuse to provide car insurance
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 measuringThe demography
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
or being blind) and the environment.
Estimates worldwideEstimates 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
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
permanently disabled by injury or disease.
About 150,000 Vietnam veteran
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 issuesPolitical rights
, social inclusion and citizenship
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 movementThe 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
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 insuranceDisability benefit, or disability pension
, is a major kind of disability insurance
, 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
, and in Canada, within the Canada Pension Plan
. In other countries, disability benefit may be provided under Social security
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.
- Adaptive recreationAdaptive recreationAdaptive 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 actDisability discrimination actIn 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 etiquetteDisability etiquetteDisability 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 studiesDisability studiesDisability 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 roboticsDisabled roboticsA 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...
- Human variabilityHuman variabilityHuman 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 disabilityInvisible disabilityInvisible 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 DisabilitiesConvention on the Rights of Persons with DisabilitiesThe 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...
- OrthopedicsOrthopedicsOrthopedics 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 RememberOut From Under: Disability, History and Things to RememberOut from Under: Disability, History and Things to Remember is a traveling exhibition that explores the history of disability within the lives of Canadians....
- Sexuality and disabilitySexuality and disabilitySexuality 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 educationSpecial educationSpecial 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 lawUgly lawFrom 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...
- 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
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