Disability Paper

Matt Ostrander
Working with Persons with Disabilities
In 2000 there were about 50 million Americans that had a disability that fell under the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and about 33 million of those are considered severely disabled (Ruffino 423). The ADA’s definition for having a disability states: “Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.” Whether you are missing a toe or part of your finger to not being able to see perfect in a way, everybody has some form of a disability or impairment. The only difference is how severely this affectsyour everyday life. When the term disabled is used, it is commonly referred to being a physical ailment. But this is not the case; the word disability covers a wide range of ailments such as; psychiatric, physical, sensory, and cognitive. A psychiatric disability is a broad range of mental and emotional conditions that differs from mental retardation, such as anxiety disorders, ODC, mood disorders, bipolar, and depression. A physical disability is a condition that substantially limits one or more basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting, or carrying. This includes cerebral palsy, spinabifida, amputations, metabolic disorders and respiratory disorders. A sensory disability impacts one or more of a person’s five senses. This would include low vision, blindness, hearing impaired, deafness, speech impairments and impairments to taste and smell. Finally cognitive disabilities must have an IQ of 70-75 or below, significant limitations in two or more adaptive skills areas (daily living, self care, work skills, etc.), and must be present from childhood. This includes fetal alcohol syndrome, down syndrome, and autism.
Within the disabled community there are several myths that need to be demolished. Here are three important ones. The first is the people with severe disabilities are childlike, dependent, and in need of charity...