A very common symbol that you often come across in malls, restaurants, and other public places is one of the person sitting on a wheelchair. It is supposed to be an indication of space or facilities reserved for the physically impaired. But, how many times have you looked at this symbol and wondered about how badly affected these individuals are? Have you wondered about how they cope with their condition and how they have reached a situation wherein they are forced to seek for help for very basic day-to-day actions?
There are many facts about the physically disabled and the condition that we remain unaware of. For example, how do you define physical disability? How are these disabilities caused? In this article, we will try to give you answers to some of these commonly asked questions.
Physical Disability Facts
First and foremost, it is important to understand what physical disability is. It is generally defined as a handicap that affects our physical ability to move one or more limbs, or our motor ability to perform basic functions. There are many different reasons that can result in physical disabilities. Prenatal causes can lead to disabilities that occur before the child is born.
The reason for this form of disability can be physical illness suffered from the mother during the pregnancy and also any form of genetic mismatch between the mother and the father. Postnatal causes refer to the entire gamut of causes that affect a person after birth. From accidents or illness, there can be a whole lot of causes that can lead to physical disability. A third cause can be disability that results during the birth process. Any damage caused to the respiratory system or the brain can cause physical or mental disabilities in babies.
Physical disabilities can be of several types. It can affect your sense of sight, your sense of hearing, your ability to be mobile, or even your ability to perform even the most basic functions. If a person's sense of sight has been affected, then he would suffer from blindness, vision blurring, color blindness, or cataract. A person's hearing can be affected by complete loss of hearing, tinnitus, or a condition known as Meniere's disease.
There are several causes that can affect basic mobility like arthritis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, paralysis, accidents, heart attacks, Parkinson's disease. The ability to complete basic functions can also be affected by respiratory disorders and conditions like epilepsy.
Medical practitioners often categorize physical disabilities under two broad types - skeletal and neuromuscular. The former consists of all those disabilities that affect our bones and our skeletal structure. The latter consists of all those disabilities that have an effect on our nervous system and our muscular system. It is also important to know that physical disabilities can be either long term or short term.
When you fracture your hand or you hurt yourself affecting your mobility but have the prognosis of full recovery on your side, then you are said to have a short term physical ability. If a person is born with a disorder that has resulted in physical disability, then chances are that the condition is irreversible, and therefore, long term.
Till a while ago, mobility and access the buildings was a huge problem for people with physical disabilities. The disability rights movement has had a huge effect on bettering the situation. It is a movement that is fighting for physically impaired people to have the same rights and opportunities as others. Some of the main points of contention are better mobility and accessibility infrastructure, disability friendly architecture, equal rights in education, housing, employment, etc. Activists all over the world are constantly working in order to improve the conditions for people with physical impairments.
In a world, where people tend to get occupied by their own problems, it is easy to turn a blind eye to others who have problems living a normal day-to-day life performing basic activities without the help of others. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand how a physical disability can turn a person's life upside down.