chapter  1
17 Pages

What Is Disability?

ByLinda Barclay

Various models of disability developed by the World Health Organisation incorporate both the descriptive and evaluative components of the everyday concept. The International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH) and its successor classifications, the ICIDH-2 and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), each emphasise bodily impairments as well as limitations on an individual's capacity to perform certain tasks and activities. "Disability" is an "umbrella" term for impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions, all of which individually are characterised as diminutions in functioning. While there is some lack of clarity over the application of its various terms in specific cases, the ICF incorporates both health conditions and personal and social factors to explain disability and functioning. The difference between the ICF and the social model is that the social model postulates a single causal "association" between impairments and loss of functioning, namely, that it is only social injustice that causes people with impairments to experience participation restrictions.