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Re: Definitions: impairment, disability and handicap

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Jun 2002 10:26:32 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Ian B. Jacobs" <ij@w3.org>, Katie Haritos-Shea <ryladog@earthlink.net>
Cc: 3WC WAI X-TECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>


Where does the WAI currently define these?  I've not found anything in the 
glossaries of the expected places (ATAG, WCAG, UAAG, "How PWD Use the Web").


At 08:08 AM 6/20/02, Ian B. Jacobs wrote:
>Katie Haritos-Shea wrote:
>>As discussed back in Nov 2001 by Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo, and
>>Lisa Seeman.........I also feel that we should be using the World Health
>>Organization's definitions for these terms.
>>I will be including them in the WAI Glossary as such, unless further
>>discussion warrants a change.
>Hi Katie,
>We discussed these definitions a long time ago in the UAWG
>and I think the WAI CG preferred that we not use them in
>the WAI Guidelines. This was discussed by the WAI CG
>in December 1999, and I believe that it was preferred
>that we keep the WAI definitions.
>You might want to get the WAI CG to re-issue their
>  - Ian
>>As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO)
>>1.  impairment refers to an abnormality of body structure, appearance, 
>>organ and system
>>(Impairments are problems in body function or structure such as a
>>significant deviation or loss)
>>2. disability is the consequence of an impairment in functional 
>>performance and
>>3. handicap is the consequence which is reflected in interaction with, and
>>adaptation to, the surroundings
>>Katie Haritos-Shea
>>Internet/Software/Device Accessibility and Standards
>>"The best and most beautiful things in the world
>>      cannot be seen or even touched.
>>     They must be felt with the heart."
>>                 - Helen Keller
>Ian Jacobs (ij@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
>Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447

wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
seattle, wa usa
Received on Thursday, 20 June 2002 10:18:54 UTC

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