Types Of Disability And Their Characteristics

All types of disability have limitations that can be reduced if the right tools are provided. Handicap is an obstacle, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be overcome.
Types of disability and their characteristics

Just as people have different abilities, there are also different types of disabilities. They all have in common that they imply a restriction of participation in some field or activity in the human sphere.

Moreover, all types of disability are the result of impairment or dysfunction of certain organs. This becomes an obstacle to carrying out activities in the same way as people without a disability do.

However, the existence of limitations does not mean that individuals have to suppress certain areas of life. In all types of disability, it is possible to be active and participate in social life, as long as the conditions for doing so are provided.

Types of disability – 6 examples

Different types of disability imply some limitation, but not an obstacle to performing various activities.

Disabled child

There are different types of disability, depending on the type of limitations they imply. In other words, we classify disabilities according to the area of ‚Äč‚Äčlife they concern. From this point of view, we distinguish the following types.

1. Physical or motor disability

A physical or motor disability is one in which there is a total or partial reduction in the mobility of one or more body members. This causes difficulties in carrying out activities that require fine motor skills.

This condition can be permanent or transient. There are several types of physical disabilities. Some of them are:

  • Monoplegia. Paralysis occurs in only one limb.
  • Paraplegia. The person loses the ability to walk.
  • Tetraplegia. It affects the mobility of the upper and lower limbs.
  • Hemiplegia. It affects the mobility of one side of the body.
  • Spina bifida. It prevents or obstructs the general movement of the person.
  • Muscular dystrophy. Muscle tension is weak and the tissue diminishes over time, making it very difficult to move.
  • Cerebral palsy. It has to do with severe motor deficiencies which include slowness, stiffness, agitation, paralysis, etc.
  • Amputation. Losing a part of the body limits human activity.

2. Sensory disability

Sensory disability refers to the impairment of one or more senses. The main effect is the reduction of the ability to obtain information from the environment – there are two types of disability in this category:

  • Visual disability corresponds to loss or deterioration of vision. It is through sight that 80% of information from the environment is obtained. Therefore, this restriction causes major changes in a person’s life.
  • Hearing impairment: in this case, we are talking about the loss or reduction of the functionality of the auditory system, which leads to difficulties in accessing speech and language. This in turn means obstacles to communication and sometimes to learning.

3. Intellectual disability

Another type of disability is intellectual disability. It occurs when a person has difficulties or limitations in their cognitive abilities. These include information processing, perception, memory, attention, problem solving, etc.

Very often, people with this type of disability have difficulties living and working in the community. In addition, there are different degrees of severity: limitations can be mild, moderate, severe or deep.

4. Psychosocial disability

Psychosocial disability occurs when there are disturbances in thinking, feeling, or relating to others. These shortcomings must be intense and permanent to be considered a medical condition.

Psychosocial disability

Unfortunately, it is one of the types of disability that carries the greatest stigma in society. There is not enough knowledge about this and therefore there are unfounded concerns about these limitations. This makes it even more difficult for people with this type of disability to progress.

5. Visceral disability

This is one of the types of disability we are least aware of, although it is also one of the most common. Visceral disability refers to cases where a person has deficiencies in the functioning of an internal organ.

For example, visceral disability includes common diseases such as diabetes and cardiac dysfunction. These disabilities condition and limit the lives of those who suffer from them and hinder participation in the community.

6. Multiple disabilities

Multiple disability refers to cases in which two or more disabilities occur simultaneously. For example, when a person has both physical and intellectual disabilities.

In such cases, there may be different degrees of severity of both disabilities. It is not only the sum of the constraints, but rather the interaction between them, which in each case produces very specific results.

Disability is a challenge

Overall, each of the different types of disability presents an individual challenge to the sufferer – but it is also a challenge for society. However, limitations do not necessarily mean that an individual cannot participate in society and live a full and happy life.

Regardless of the type of disability, there is always something we can do to reduce the impact of limitations. However, this requires the cooperation of the disabled person, their environment, the health care system and, above all, society.

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