Comm Eye Health Vol. 26 No. 81 2013 pp 02. Published online 21 May 2013.

Glossary: disability

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Accessibility. The degree to which information, a service, or a device/ product is available to as many people as possible, including people with different impairments.

Barriers. Those things which prevent a person with an impairment from being able to get to, or use, information, services, or devices/products.

Disability. How an impairment affects someone’s life; this is determined by the extent to which society is willing to accommodate people with different needs.

Inclusion. The practice of ensuring that people feel they belong and are able to participate in community life, which includes accommodating any person with an impairment.

Intellectual disability. A reduced intellectual ability and difficulty with everyday tasks; the term ‘mental disability’ is similar but can include mental disorders such as depression or schizophrenia. Other terms used for intellectual disability include ‘learning disability’ and ‘mentally handicapped’.

Impairment. Difficulty in physical, mental or sensory functioning.

Mobility impairment. Difficulty with walking or moving around. People with mobility impairments may be wheelchair users or use crutches, or may need extra time or support from another person to move around.

Sensory impairment. Visual and/or hearing impairments.