Disability Awareness: Types of Disabilities Defined

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Types of Disabilities Defined:

Autism Spectrum Disorder - Autism is a developmental disability that usually appears during the first three years of life. The cause is unknown. It affects how a person’s brain works, but not all people with autism are affected the same way. When a person has autism, they may have problems: letting you know what they want; thinking; understanding what other people say or want; ignoring sounds; ignoring things or people that are moving; ignoring lights; being touched; understanding social rules; showing affection; controlling their feelings; and dealing with changes. Autism is a “spectrum disorder.” That means that not everyone with autism has all the above characteristics. One person may have three of the characteristics listed while another person may have only one. Some people with autism struggle to learn.

Communication Disorders - Communication disorders are disabilities that keep a person from being able to speak or make their speech understood. This can be caused by many different disabilities or injuries. Persons with difficulty speaking may use sign language, gestures or small electronic devices to assist them in communicating.

Hearing Impairments - Hearing impairments include everything from not being able to hear certain sounds to being totally deaf. In most cases, a hearing loss doesn’t simply mean that sounds are not loud enough. It usually means that sounds are garbled or unclear.

Learning Disabilities - Learning disabilities (LDs), affect the brain's ability to receive, process, store, respond to and communicate information. LDs are actually a group of disorders, not a single disorder. Learning Disabilities include: Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, Dyspraxia, Auditory Processing Disorder, Visual Processing Disorder, and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.

Physical Disabilities – Physical disability pertains to total or partial loss of a person’s bodily functions (eg walking, gross motor skills, bladder control etc) and total or partial loss of a part of the body (eg a person with an amputation). Some examples of physical disability include amputation; arthritis; cerebral palsy; multiple sclerosis; muscular dystrophy; acquired spinal injury (paraplegia or quadriplegia); post-polio syndrome; spina bifida.

Vision Impairments - Total blindness is the inability to tell light from dark, or the total inability to see. Visual impairment or low vision is a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and reduces a person's ability to function at certain or all tasks. Legal blindness (which is actually a severe visual impairment) refers to a best-corrected central vision of 20/200 or worse in the better eye or a visual acuity of better than 20/200 but with a visual field no greater than 20° (e.g., side vision that is so reduced that it appears as if the person is looking through a tunnel).

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11/7/2018 3:01:54 PM