Nearly 1 in 5 Australians has one or more disabilities. This means that sometime in our life we are all likely to have a disability and/or have a friend, family member, class mate and/or work mate with a disability.
A disability may be visible or hidden, may be permanent or temporary and may have a minimal or substantial impact on a person's abilities. The term disability also refers to medical conditions and mental illnesses. The vast majority (over 90%) of disabilities are invisible.
Although some people are born with disability, many people who currently have a disability may have spent much of their lives without it. For example, people who have acquired their disability through a workplace incident or car accident, and people who may have acquired a disability as they age.
People with disability can be found in all parts of our community. People with disability are teachers, students, police officers, truck drivers, carers, managers, customers, children, young people, older people, indigenous and non-indigenous, from all cultural backgrounds and can be gay, lesbian, transgender or straight.
People with the same type of disability actually experience their disability in very individual ways. Knowing what type of disability a person has tells you only a little about how that person's disability affects them and their life.
The one thing that people with disability have in common is that they may be unable to do particular things the same way that most other people do without some type of adjustment, alteration or accommodation. These adjustments are mostly relatively easy and inexpensive to make.
Adapted from the following website: