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People with Disabilities

Collage: A man in wheelchair. A man walking with a cane.Disability has been defined in many ways. In general, a disability is a feature of the body, mind, or senses that can affect a person's daily life. Some disabilities are easy to see, such as when a person uses a wheelchair or when someone has lost an arm. Other disabilities, such as arthritis, may not be as easy to see. Some people may live with a disability all their lives. Others may have a disability when they are young or as an older adult.

People with disabilities sometimes have a harder time getting and staying healthy than people without disabilities. For example, people who use wheelchairs may not be able to get into a gym to exercise. A person who is deaf may not be able to communicate directly with his or her doctor.

Using universal design and architectural accessibility features helps people live independent lives. An example is latch door knobs that are easy for people with arthritis to use. Universal design can also help people without a disability. For example, a house entrance without a step helps parents with a stroller.

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  • Page last reviewed: March 3, 2014
  • Page last updated: May 19, 2014
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