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What Is a Disability?

  1. Georzetta profile image79
    Georzettaposted 7 years ago

    What is a disability? The Census Bureau considers that to be anything that interferes with the activities of daily living. How do we define that?

    The organization I volunteer with considers someone to be disabled if they say they are.

    We all know that the education system has a wide variety of conditions/diseases/illnesses/behaviors that are considered disabilities.

    I think a disability is anything that impacts/interferes with the physical/cognitive aspects of daily living as well as social and personal relationships.

    Is it possible to have one definition or should the definition change depending on the environment? Would a legal definition be the same as a medical one?

    I'm asking this question here rather than in a forum more specific to health questions because I'm wondering what everyone thinks about this issue.

    The latest figures coming from the government would suggest that 80% of the population will have some type of disability whether permanent or temporary in their lifetime. A real good chunk of both state and federal budgets go to support people with disabilities.

    So, how do we decide who these people are? Should all disabilities be given equal weight when determining financial support?

    1. barryrutherford profile image75
      barryrutherfordposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Well disabilities are not discriminated against as you suggestthey should.  I think most people receiving disability support would say it gives them a subsistence income bordering on the poverty line.  Those that have found a way to work do not get assistance as the income support is means tested as such any income offsets or replaces income received from govt disability support.

      1. Georzetta profile image79
        Georzettaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        I didn't mean to suggest that people with disabilities should be discriminated against. I have a very pronounced physical disability and receive support from the government.

        When I was really asking, and apologies for not being clear, is for clarification on what people think a disability is.

        I'm starting to think it's a bit like pornography. I may not be able to define it but I know I see it. (Who said that?)

    2. luvpassion profile image60
      luvpassionposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Well that's depressing...that's what all the lawyer commercials are for, to convince the courts someone is disabled.

      It used to be if you were on drugs or alchohol...I even heard of a person who went to court and took a dump in the corner of the courtroom. wink

      The peremeters are wide ranging but I think they're trying to narrow them now.


  2. Mark Monroe profile image85
    Mark Monroeposted 7 years ago

    Here is a technical answer to your question

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) Disability

    The term "disability" means, with respect to an individual

    (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such individual;

    (B) a record of such an impairment; or

    (C) being regarded as having such an impairment (as described in paragraph (3)).

    (2) Major Life Activities

    (A) In general

    For purposes of paragraph (1), major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.

    (B) Major bodily functions

    For purposes of paragraph (1), a major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.

    (3) Regarded as having such an impairment

    For purposes of paragraph (1)(C):

    (A) An individual meets the requirement of “being regarded as having such an impairment” if the individual establishes that he or she has been subjected to an action prohibited under this chapter because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity.

    (B) Paragraph (1)(C) shall not apply to impairments that are transitory and minor. A transitory impairment is an impairment with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less.

    If you want more detailed information please go to ADA.gov

  3. alternate poet profile image66
    alternate poetposted 7 years ago

    Most people have some disability relative to others, and if we don't we almost certainly will as we get older.  I object to the way disability attracts state funds, in the UK at least, the too wide definition is an open invite to fraud.  Surely it is more of a disadvantage to be totally thick and stupid, in which case shouldn't there be a dimwit allowance ?