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Introduction

A disability is an impairment that may be cognitive, developmental, intellectual, mental, physical, sensory, or some combination of these. It substantially affects a person's life activities and may be present from birth or occur during a person's lifetime.

Disability is a contested concept, with different meanings in different communities. It may be used to refer to physical or mental attributes that some institutions, particularly medicine, view as needing to be fixed (the medical model). It may refer to limitations imposed on people by the constraints of an ableist society (the social model). Or the term may serve to refer to the identity of disabled people. Physiological functional capacity (PFC) is a related term that describes an individual's performance level. It gauges one's ability to perform the physical tasks of daily life and the ease with which these tasks are performed. PFC declines with advancing age to result in frailty, cognitive disorders or physical disorders, all of which may lead to labeling individuals as disabled.

The discussion over disability's definition arose out of disability activism in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1970s, which challenged how the medical concept of disability dominated perception and discourse about disabilities. Debates about proper terminology and their implied politics continue in disability communities and the academic field of disability studies. In some countries, the law requires that disabilities are documented by a healthcare provider in order to assess qualifications for disability benefits.

Selected article

The iron prosthetic hand worn by Götz von Berlichingen from 1508 (1861 etching).
In medicine, a prosthesis (plural: prostheses; from Ancient Greek prosthesis, "addition, application, attachment") is an artificial device that replaces a missing body part, which may be lost through trauma, disease, or congenital conditions. Prosthetics are intended to restore the normal functions of the missing body part. Prosthetic amputee rehabilitation is primarily coordinated by a prosthetist and an inter-disciplinary team of health care professionals including psychiatrists, surgeons, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Prosthetics are commonly created with CAD (Computer-Aided Design), a software interface that helps creators visualize the creation in a 3D form. But they can also be designed by hand.


Selected biography

Right semiprofile head and shoulders photo of the young Helen Keller wearing a high-necked crocheted white blouse

Helen Keller (June 27, 1880–June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.

A prolific author, Keller was well traveled, and was outspoken in her opposition to war. A member of the Socialist Party USA and the Wobblies, she campaigned for women's suffrage, workers' rights, and socialism, as well as many other leftist causes.

WikiProjects

The Disability WikiProject is a project that helps to assemble writers and editors interested in Disability related articles. The aim of this project is to co-ordinate the improvement and creation of articles.

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