What is disability?

A person has a disability that is covered by the Equality Act 2010 if they have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

For example:

Sensory impairments such as being blind or deaf

Mobility difficulties and other physical disabilities

Learning disabilities and people who are autistic (Click here to go to our Learning Disability pages)

Mental health problems

Facial disfigurements

Speech impairments

Memory problems, such as dementia.

Long-term conditions, such as epilepsy, dyslexia and cancer.

It is important to note that the definition can cover illnesses and conditions which some people may not immediately think of as a disability, such as asthma, depression, heart disease or diabetes.

The social model of disability

This model recognises that an individual is disabled not by their impairment or medical condition, but by a society which fails to meet their needs.

For example, if an individual is unable to read information provided at an open day because they have a visual impairment, the social model sees the organisation as the problem because they have not provided suitable material that can be read by someone who is visually impaired, such as Braille or large print documents.


 Click here to go to our Learning Disability Pages

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