Disabilities Defined

 

What is a disability?

A disability may be generally defined as a condition which may restrict a person's mental, sensory or mobility functions to undertake or perform a task in the same way as a person who does not have a disability.

 

Did you know?

Disabilities are both visible and invisible and cover a huge spectrum of conditions ranging from arthritis and depression to physical and developmental challenges. You probably already work with or accommodate a person with some sort of a disability in your organization and never thought that they had a disability, by the definition of it.

 

Information on Disabilities and Disabling Conditions

Whether you are supporting an existing employee or getting ready for an employee with a disability, you can prepare your managers with the information and resources needed to accommodate the workplace. Viable has compiled a broad list of possible causes of disabilities, complete with great tips for employers on accommodations.

 

Possible Causes of Disabilities and Tips:

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)/Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is the diagnosis an HIV-infected person...

Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, which causes thinking and memory to become seriously impaired. It is the most...

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or motor neuron disease, is a rapidly progressive neuromuscular disease....

Arthritis

Arthritis actually refers to more than 100 different conditions. These can be anything from relatively mild forms of tendinitis (as in tennis elbow) a...

Asperger Syndrome

Asperger Syndrome is part of the Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Individuals with Asperger Syndrome typically have average or above-average intelligence l...

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder that affects two to five percent of Canadian children and adults. ADHD i...

Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), also referred to as autism, is a neurological disorder which causes developmental disability. Individuals with autism ...

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Affective Disorder is an abnormal fluctuation in moods, varying between marked highs (mania) and lows (depression), with periods of stability....

Brain Injury

May result from trauma, illness and/or a tumor and may affect a person’s physical performance, emotional or cognitive development, language, mat...

Chemical Sensitivity or Environmental Illness

Individuals with environmental sensitivities may have flu-like symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, breathing difficulties, memory ...

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS), is a disorder characterized by profound fatigue...

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is any frequent or continuous pain that has lasted for more than a few months. It may be generally described as any persisting pain that ...

Depression

Depression is an illness that affects the mind and body. It is generally described as feeling worthless, hopeless and helpless over an extended period...

Developmental Disability

Refers to a state of functioning that begins in childhood and is characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual capacity and adaptive s...

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body is not able to use sugar as it should. The body needs sugar for growth and energy for daily activities...

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative disease. Movement is normally controlled by dopamine, a chemical that carries signals between the nerves in t...

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a condition of the central nervous system, characterized by the tendency to have seizures. The term epilepsy covers a wide variety of dist...

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

FASD is a term that describes a range of disabilities that may affect people whose mothers drank alcohol while they were pregnant. The brain is develo...

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

FMS is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, fatigue and a variety of other symptoms. The name “fibromyalgia” comes from &ldquo...

Gastrointestinal Disorders

Examples of GI disorders include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, spastic colon and diverticulitis. Symptoms of GI disor...

Hearing Loss

"Deaf” refers to individuals who are not able to hear well enough to rely on hearing as a means for processing information.Hearing loss or deafn...

Learning Disablities

Learning disabilities affect people’s ability to process and interpret information that they see or hear. Conditions include dyslexia and attent...

Liver Diseases

There are many medical conditions that can affect the liver, including cirrhosis, hepatitis, liver cancer, Sarcoidosis and Wilson’s disease. Sym...

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system - the brain and spinal cord. The disease attacks the protective myel...

Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is the common name for several progressive hereditary diseases that cause muscles to weaken and degenerate. MD is caused by de...

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an uncommon but severe anxiety disorder. Feelings of anxiety are linked with constant or intrusive thoughts and...

Physical Disabilities

A person’s ability to move can be affected by many conditions and disabilities including: spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy...

Respiratory Disorders

There are a number of medical conditions that can affect the respiratory system, including allergies, asthma, chemical sensitivity, chronic obstructiv...

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that impairs a person's ability to think clearly, manage his or her emotions and relate to others. It affects a per...

Stroke

A stroke is an injury to a part of the brain. It happens when something goes wrong with the flow of blood to the brain. Blood vessels, called arteries...

Vision Impairments

Involves visual clarity and the amount of usable sights (field of vision). Over 85% of those with visual impairments have some degree of vision. Indiv...