What is Disability

The resources below provide an initial definition of disability built from the understanding of disability in the Communities, incorporating the knowledge from people living with disabilities. There are also resources to explain the prevalent theories that shape the way we think about and treat disability, as well as resources to increase understanding about how to support client’s to develop strong self advocacy skills to empower them toward increased self determination.

Quick Definitions


Disability includes both invisible and visible conditions that can affect mental health, learning, development, sight, hearing or any part of the body. It also includes facing barriers when trying to gain access to the opportunities that others have and can access freely. Understanding disability encourages inclusion through being able to empathize with, relate to and support one another.

Integrated Model of Disability

Integrated models of disability highlight the importance of the physiological effects of disability, as well as the barriers embedded in the various environments that people with disability live and work. These models go a step further and examine the possible interaction between these effects and experiences.

Nisidotam: Defining Disability

 Click to find a full definition of disability including examples of barriers and facilitators shared from the communities.

Current Theories of Disability

Click for more about the theories that shape the way we think and direct the way we act toward disability.

Self Advocacy

Click for more about the benefits of being a self advocate and how support professionals can help.

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Difference of Opinion

Emotionally Upsetting

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