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Types Of Disabilities

Updated on October 22, 2011

A disability is a condition in which one or more systems of person are not functioning normally. In other words any sort of physical or internal impairment caused by an injury or another factor is referred to a disability.

A disability can be of various types and may be caused by many different reasons. Most disabilities are caused due to an external injury or as a reaction to any disease or a medicine.

Other disabilities are caused due to genetic malfunctioning. Most disabilities are heredity i.e. passed on from parent to the child and some are caused due to mutation.

Broadly, disabilities are of three main categories:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Mental disabilities
  • Sensory disabilities

Physical Disabilities

A physical disability involves the malfunctioning of various body parts. They may be serious or minor and may be heredity or caused due to an injury.

Most physical disabilities are caused due to physical injuries caused by accidents.

A part of the body stops functioning, hindering the mobility. In this condition the state maybe temporary or permanent.

Physical disabilities, based on their cause, are of following types:

Disabled athlete
Disabled athlete
  • Disabilities Caused Due To A Brain Injury

    These disabilities result from a brain injury and are the most dangerous ones. A part of a brain gets damaged due which the part of the body it deals with stops functioning normally.


    They may also be present at the time of birth of a child and caused during the stage of pregnancy. Pregnancy is crucial stage and if an injury occurs to fetus at this stage it’s rarely treated.

    Physical impairments caused by a brain injury are not heredity.

Child with autism
Child with autism
A blind man
A blind man
  • Physical Disabilities Caused Due To A Spinal Cord Injury

    These disabilities like the brain caused physical impairments are mostly due to physical injuries.

    The physical impairment caused due to a spinal cord injury is also very serious but some of them can be treated whereas the brain caused injuries are hardly cured.


    Mostly, a spinal cord injury leads to paralysis which of course is incurable, but other disabilities like disc slip can be dealt with and treated.

Mental Disabilities

A disability in which the mental state of a person is not normal is called a mental disability.

The mental disability is psychological and caused due to a brain injury, an emotional stress or trauma or due to heredity factors and mutation.

  • Genetically Caused Mental Disabilities

    Most mental disabilities like autism are caused due to genetic mutations and are present at the time of birth.

    Other genetically caused mental disabilities include: dyslexia, attention deficit disorder etc.

  • Psychological Mental Disability

    This type of mental disability is the most common type of mental disability. It is caused due to a stress or a trauma or due to an internal malfunctioning.

    Common psychological mental disabilities include: depression, bi polar disorder, schizophrenia etc. This type of mental disability is mostly curable.
  • Mental Disability Caused Due A Brain Injury

    A mental disability may also result from a physical brain injury. A portion of brain gets destroyed which causes mental impairment.

    This kind of mental disability is mostly incurable.

Sensory Disabilities

The sensory disabilities are the disabilities of the human senses. They also are either caused due to an injury, as a reaction to a disease or a chemical or may be present at the time of birth caused due to a genetic fault.

The most common sensory impairments are vision impairment and hearing disability.

  • Vision Disability

    When the sense of vision of a person is not functioning normally then the person is said to be suffering from a vision disability. This type of disability can be minor or serious and can be caused to various reasons.

    A person suffering from a vision disability is either partially or completely blind or the person may not see things clearly.

    Myopia and long sightedness are very common and minor disabilities in which a person can not see things clearly from a distance or from near respectively.

    Other vision disabilities can be caused due to an injury occurred on the cornea or the retina. Some vision impairments are also due to diseases like diabetes and glaucoma.
  • Hearing Disabilities


    In this type of disability a person is partially or completely deaf. They maybe caused due to an injury or as a consequence of a severe illness.

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      Sarah Hill 7 years ago

      Some other uncommonly known disabilities are AIDS, dementia, neuropathy, asthma, diabetes, hepatitis, seizures, lupus, and many more.

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