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Welcome to our Disabilities topic center. To have a disability means that one has fundamental difficulty accomplishing things that others take for granted. Disabilities can be physical in nature (an inability to walk due to amputation, or muscular or neurological dysfunction, for example), sensory (as in blindness, or deafness), cognitive (as in brain damage or mental retardation), behavioral (as in an inability to work), or even emotional. This particular disabilities topic center contains mostly references to physical and sensory forms of disability, as other forms are adequately covered in other topic centers.

Physical and sensory disabilities can be major impediments to participating in normal society. As a simple example, consider the computer. Being able to use a computer effortlessly is practically a basic literacy skill required for employment these days. But blind people, and people who have lost the ability to use their hands for typing (perhaps due to repetative stress injuries) have a great deal of difficulty operating a computer. The same group is more or less unable to operate a car without assistance. Persons who have lost the use of their legs are able to use a car (if they have access to an expensive customized vehicle designed for their impediments, but are stopped cold when required to go up or down a stairway (and don’t even ask about using fire escapes). While many deaf people are able to engage in normal conversation to ...

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Speech Problems
Learning Disorders
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