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Defining disability

If you have a physical, sensory, psychiatric, learning or intellectual impairment or long term medical condition which impacts upon your daily living activities, you may be identified as having a disability.

Disabilities may be temporary or permanent and have been present from birth, or the result of illness, injury or disease.

Types of disability

Defining a disability within the tertiary environment includes, but is not limited to:

  • chronic medical conditions (for example epilepsy, diabetes, respiratory dysfunction, arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • mental health conditions (for example affective, psychotic, eating & anxiety disorders, substance abuse)
  • learning disability (for example Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, associated neurological condition such as AD/HD, ABI)
  • Aspergers Syndrome
  • visual impairment
  • hearing impairment, and
  • physical impairment.

Further information about the different types of disability or long term medical conditions and the impacts upon the learning environments, is available on the Creating Accessible Teaching & Support website.