What is a disability?
The definition of disability under the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) is very broad. It includes:
- total or partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions; or
- total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
- the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or
- or the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or
- the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the person's body; or
- a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
- a disorder, illness or disease that affects a persons' thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement or that results in disturbed behavior;
and includes a disability that;
- presently exists; or
- previously existed but no longer exists; or
- may exist in the future (including because of a genetic predisposition to that disability); or
- is imputed to a person.
- Under this broad definition, disability includes all physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological, and learning disabilities, as well as physical disfigurement, and disease or disease-causing organisms.
Check out our downloadable Information Sheet 'What is Disability?' (PDF, 192.89 KB)