WHAT IS DISABILITY? A disability is any physical or mental impairment, either visible or invisible, permanent, or temporary, that substantially limits one or more major life activities. The Americans with Disabilities Act, also called the ADA, is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. When people with disabilities are treated unfairly, it’s called discrimination. The ADA has five sections that protects people with disabilities from discrimination:
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).
There are many types of disabilities, such as those that affect a person’s:
Although ‘people with disabilities’ sometimes refers to a single population, this is actually a diverse group of people with a wide range of needs. Two people with the same type of disability can be affected in very different ways. Some disabilities may be hidden or not easy to see.” (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Impairment in a person’s body structure or function, or mental functioning; examples of impairments include loss of a limb, loss of vision or memory loss.
Activity limitation, such as difficulty seeing, hearing, walking, or problem solving.
Participation restrictions in normal daily activities, such as working, engaging in social and recreational activities, and obtaining health care and preventive services.
Disability can be:
Related to conditions that are present at birth and may affect functions later in life, including cognition (memory, learning, and understanding), mobility (moving around in the environment), vision, hearing, behavior, and other areas. These conditions may be