Definitions: impairment, disability and handicap

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.

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

Received on Thursday, 20 June 2002 06:44:10 UTC