A General Overview of Physical Disabilities

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Disabilities can be categorized into four groups; physical, intellectual, cognitive, and psychiatric. Each category has its causations of the disability, synopsis, and historical background. The ADA played an important role in defining for various reasons the technical definition of a disability. For this reason, there has been an increase in individuals with disabilities over the past years. However, the continuum of having a disability still exists.

The four types of disability can be categorized into two sub-parts; invisible and visible. Invisible disabilities are the disabilities that one may not notice from the first encounter. These disabilities will only present themselves under certain circumstances. Visible disabilities are more noticeable, usually within the first encounter. Having a physical disability means one has an impairment that one can see and touch.

Physical disabilities are diagnosed using standardized, quantifiable laboratory procedures. Presently there are more know types of physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and sensory impairments. These disabilities all have specific symptoms and can be confirmed through standardized testing. Acquired physical disabilities result from some bodily injury such as brain trauma. Congenial physical disabilities are those with which the individual is born with.

There are more assistive technologies available today for persons with physical disabilities. There are also more alternative therapies that are being studied that may one day be implemented in all standard therapy practices. Individuals with physical disabilities have to face many challenges that many without disabilities have to face. While discrimination, prejudice, and stigma against people with disabilities still persist, it becomes more necessary to help them attain, self-sufficiency, and a higher quality of life. References

Smart, Julie, PhD (2009) Disabiltiy, Society, andThe Individual
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