Re: Definitions: impairment, disability and handicap

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
> functioning.
> (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
> activity
> 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
> Strategist/Developer/Evangelist
> #571-220-7777
> "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 (
Tel:                     +1 718 260-9447

Received on Thursday, 20 June 2002 08:11:43 UTC