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What is Disability? PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 09:41

According to Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

"Disability" means-
  1. Blindness;
  2. Low vision;
  3. Leprosy-cured;
  4. Hearing impairment;
  5. Locomotor disability;
  6. Mental Retardation;
  7. Mental illness;
Blindness" refers to a condition where a person suffers from any of the following conditions, namely:-
  1. Total absence of sight. or
  2. Visual acuity not exceeding 6/60 or 20/200 (Snellen) in the better eye with correcting lenses; or
  3. Limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of 20 degree or worse.
"Leprosy cured person" means any person who has been cured of leprosy but is suffering from-
  1. Loss of sensation in hands or feet as well as loss of sensation and paresis in the eye and eye-lid but with no manifest deformity;
  2. Manifest deformity and paresis; but having sufficient mobility in their hands and feet to enable them to engage in normal economic activity;
  3. Extreme physical deformity as well as advanced age which prevent him from undertaking any gainful occupation, and the expression "leprosy cured" shall be construed accordingly.
"Hearing impairment" means loss of sixty decibels or more in the better year in the conversational range of' frequencies.

"Locomotor disability" means disability of the bones, joints muscles leading to substantial restriction of the movement of the limbs or any form of cerebral palsy.

"Cerebral palsy" means a group of non-progressive conditions of a person characterized by abnormal motor control posture resulting from brain insult or injuries occurring in the pre-natal, peri-natal or infant period of development.

"Mental retardation" means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person which is specially characterized by sub normality of intelligence.

"Mental illness" means any mental disorder other than mental retardation.

According to National trust for the welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities Act, 1999

"Autism” means a condition of uneven skill development primarily affecting the communication and social abilities of a person, marked by repetitive and ritualistic behaviour.

"Cerebral Palsy" means a group of non-progressive conditions of a person characterized by abnormal motor control posture resulting from brain insult or injuries occurring in the pre-natal, perinatal or infant period of development.

"Mental Retardation"
means a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of person which is specially characterised by sub-normality of intelligence.

“Multiple Disabilities"
means a combination of two or more disabilities as defined in clause (i) of section 2 of the Person with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.

According to World Health Organization (WHO):

"Disability is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives."

International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, known more commonly as ICF, is a classification of health and health-related domains. These domains are classified from body, individual and societal perspectives by means of two lists: a list of body functions and structure, and a list of domains of activity and participation. Since an individual’s functioning and disability occurs in a context, the ICF also includes a list of environmental factors.

The ICF is WHO's framework for measuring health and disability at both individual and population levels. The ICF was officially endorsed by all 191 WHO Member States in the Fifty-fourth World Health Assembly on 22 May 2001(resolution WHA 54.21). Unlike its predecessor, which was endorsed for field trail purposes only, the ICF was endorsed for use in Member States as the international standard to describe and measure health and disability.

The ICF puts the notions of ‘health’ and ‘disability’ in a new light. It acknowledges that every human being can experience a decrement in health and thereby experience some degree of disability. Disability is not something that only happens to a minority of humanity. The ICF thus ‘mainstreams’ the experience of disability and recognises it as a universal human experience. By shifting the focus from cause to impact it places all health conditions on an equal footing allowing them to be compared using a common metric – the ruler of health and disability. Furthermore ICF takes into account the social aspects of disability and does not see disability only as a 'medical' or 'biological' dysfunction. By including Contextual Factors, in which environmental factors are listed ICF allows to records the impact of the environment on the person's functioning.

For details click here
For ICF online click here

More Information -

  • Application areas: Overview on where and how ICF is used

  • Application and Training Tools: Access application instruments and training material

  • ICF and ICF-CY ONLINE - Multiple Languages

ICF Application Areas

Implementation of the ICF started in 2001 with the unanimous endorsement of the classification by the 54th World Health Assembly as the framework for describing and measuring health and disability. Since then, ICF has been applied in a variety of settings at national and international level.

International and national health and disability reporting

ICF based health and disability surveys have been conducted at national and international level. In WHO the ICF framework has been used in the Multi-Country Survey Study in 2000/2001 and the World Health Survey Program in 2002/2003 to measure health status of the general population in 71 countries. From this data WHO and selected Members States are currently generating population norms for selected ICF domains and disability prevalence rates. At regional level UNSD, UNESCWA and UNESCAP in collaboration with WHO implemented a series of workshops for African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries to improve disability statistics using the ICF framework. At national level ICF based data sets and questionnaires are currently used in a number of countries including Australia, Irland, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Malawi.
Several countries started the process of streamlining ICF in their health & social information standards and legislation. Development and piloting of ICF based indicators and reporting systems for use in rehabilitation, home-care, age-care, disability evaluation are ongoing in Australia, Canada, Italy, India, Japan, Mexico.

Click here for details

ICF Application and Training Tools

To facilitate the application of ICF in various settings the following application and training instruments and materials are available:

Application Instruments

ICF Checklist: The user–friendly display of the most relevant ICF categories for clinical purposes. The checklist allows the user to identify and qualify the individuals functioning profile in a simple and time efficient manner.
For Checklist :

WHODAS 2.0: The World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule - WHODAS 2.0 - is a practical instrument designed to measure general levels of health and disability. The instrument is based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF).
For Details : WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 (WHODAS 2.0)
WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0 WHODAS 2.0
The new WHODAS 2.0

The new WHODAS 2.0 supersedes WHODAS II and shows the following advantages:

  • Generic assessment instrument for health and disability

  • Used across all diseases, including mental, neurological and addictive disorders

  • Short, simple and easy to administer (5 to 20 minutes)

  • Applicable in both clinical and general population settings

  • Produces standardized disability levels and profiles

  • Applicable across cultures, in all adult populations

  • Direct conceptual link to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

For details :

Links to training materials: ICFtrainingBeginner'sGuide, pdf

Last Updated on Monday, 09 April 2018 12:54

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