Legal Definition Disability means either a total or partial loss of a person’s body part or mental ability, an illness or disease either physically or mentally that may affect a person’s movement or capabilities, thoughts, observation of reality, emotions or judgement which may result in learning difficulties or distressed behaviour. A disability can prevent a person from performing usual physical or mental tasks either on their own or at all. For example, a person who is a paraplegic, blind or mentally disabled.
Social Definition A social definition is a common definition held by society. The social definition for disability is when a person’s mind or body part does not work in a traditional or ‘normal’ way. Disabled people have to face many barriers and are challenged with everyday tasks as most cannot care for themselves. A common term used for people with disabilities is handicapped.
Identifying Characteristics Physical:
• Underdevelopment of the body.
• A physical distortion possibly resulting in abnormal movement of the body.
• Unusual height or weight for their age.
• Mobility issues or wheelchair bound.
• Blind, deaf of mute.
• Poor speech and language abilities.
• Low concentration, memory, thinking, imagination and attention span.
• Unusually low I.Q
• Psychological or intellectual problems.
• Irresponsible acts.
• Little to no abilities of social judgment.
• Low self- esteem or aggression towards themselves or others.
• May have a carer.
• Use special equipment when in public such as rails, ramps or elevators.
• Major or minor mood swings.
• Late reaction time.
Specific Needs (in priority order) Access to services:
People with disabilities require several services such as educational and employment support, doctor’s facilities, support groups, home care services and transport that they can access. These services
Bibliography: • Beattie, A, Rayner, B, Rayner, K & Roberts, B 2009, Nelson Community and Family Studies, 1st edn, Cengage Learning Australia, Level 7, 80 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne, Victoria Australia 3205. • Disabled, 2010 Groups in context overview, accessed 5 June 2013, . • Disabilities, 2010 Parliament of Australia, Parliamentary Library, accessed 3 June 2013, . • Disability Support and Services in Australia, 2010 Parliament of Australia, Parliamentary Library, accessed 3 June 2013, . • Work sheets from class and common knowledge.