What is a Disability?Disabilities affect your body, mind, or senses. It is anything that results in impairment. It can be:
- Physical. This is anything that affects your body or your senses.
- Cognitive. This is when your ability to understand is impaired. It is also your ability to think.
- Mental. These are behavioral problems that make functioning harder. It includes a number of psychiatric disorders.
- Chronic disease. This is an illness that you will have for a long time. Or an illness that will always come back.
- Hearing impairment
- Developmental disabilities
- Missing or paralyzed limbs
Who has disabilities?Anyone can have a disability. It does not affect women more than men. Children and adults both have them. It is not always something you are born with. Accidents or health issues can lead to them later in life. About 1 in 5 Americans lives with a disability. It is said that everyone will experience them at least once in their lives.
Disabilities are different for everyone. People with the same disability may experience it differently. People with disabilities have the right to any resource someone without one has access to. They have the right to work and go to school. Transportation should be accessible to them. They should be allowed opportunities to improve their lives. They have the right to be involved in their communities. They can and do have families, fun, and full lives. They deserve to be treated as individuals. They are not their disability.
Living with a disability can be challenging. You can learn to face any difficulty that arises. Many organizations work to help those with disabilities live the lives that they desire. You do not have to give up any of your dreams. With the right help you can accomplish anything.
There are laws that protect those with disabilities. It is important to know your rights. Being informed can keep you empowered.
Links for more information on living with disabilities
- New Mexico Development Disabilities Planning Council
- State of New Mexico Vocational Rehabilitation
- International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet: This site is to provide support for all persons with disabilities
- Virtual Center for Independent Living: This site can help you to access resources in your area
- Disability Info.gov: This site can provide you with information on laws and acts that protect those with disabilities from discrimination
- Office of Disability Employment Policy: This site works to help you identify your accomodation rights as an employee with a certain disability
- American Federation for the Blind: This site is to help provide support and resources to those who are blind
- National Association of the Deaf This site is to help provide support and resources to those who are hearing impaired
- National Institute of Mental Health: This site is to help provide support and resources to those with mental health disorders