Impairment & disability

  • By: Terri
  • Date: November 16, 2010
  • Time to read: 1 min.


  • any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function


  • any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity
    • in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being


  • disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from an impairment or a disability,
    • that prevents the fulfillment of a role that is considered normal (depending on age, sex and social and cultural factors) for that individual

Nature of disability

  • Time of onset
    • infancy
    • later in life
  • Functions impaired
  • Severity of disability
  • Visibility of disability
  • Stability of disability
  • Pain

Stages of accommodation

COHN’S 5 stages in adjustment process

  1. Shock
  2. Expectancy of recovery
  3. Mourning
  4. Defence
  5. Final adjustment

Stages of family adjustment (response to child’s disability)

  1. Withdrawal/rejection
  2. Denial
  3. Fear & frustration
  4. Adjustment

Devaluation of disability – Why?

  1. Attitudinal barrier
  2. Overvaluation of physique
  3. Blaming the victim
  4. Insistence of mourning


Many persons with disabilities-feel-their problems stems primarily from

  • prejudice
  • discrimination


  • Name-calling by non-disabled person

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