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.
According to the World Health Organization, disability has three dimensions:
The biggest barrier people with disabilities encounter are other people. Disability Awareness means educating people regarding disabilities and giving people the knowledge required to carry out a job or task, thus separating good practice from poor. It is no longer enough just to know that disability discrimination is unlawful.
For instance, disability awareness relates to topics such as a recent paper released by the Council for Disability Awareness that examines the lack of awareness of the risks and the financial burden that an unexpected accident or illness can have on retirement savings.
Even though 3 in 10 workers entering the workforce today will become disabled before retiring, disability is often overlooked as a threat to long-term financial security.
People with hidden disabilities often do not feel like they belong within the disability community because they are not considered to be "disabled enough" to fit into the group.
People with hidden disabilities are caught between not being fully accepted as people without disabilities, and not being recognized as having "real" disabilities.
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