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The Disability Portal

symbols for someone sitting in a wheelchair, a brain, sign language and someone walking with a (possibly white) stick

Disability, according to the World Health Organization, is defined as "...an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives."

Selected article

Children of a Lesser God is a 1986 romantic drama film that tells the story of a speech teacher at a school for deaf students who falls in love with a deaf woman who also works there. It stars William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie, and Philip Bosco.

The movie, directed by Randa Haines, was adapted by Mark Medoff, Hesper Anderson and James Carrington from Medoff's Tony award-winning play of the same name, which ran on Broadway from 1980–1982.

In her debut role as Sarah Norman, Matlin won the 1986 Academy Award for Best Actress. Aged 21 at the time, she is the youngest actress to have received an Oscar for Best Actress. Almost completely deaf in real life since the early age of 18 months, she has since gone on to become an established film and television star and remains active in charities for the deaf and hearing impaired around the world. The film also garnered Academy Award nominations for Best Actor for William Hurt, Best Supporting Actress for Piper Laurie, Best Picture, and Best Writing for an Adapted Screenplay.

Selected picture

Roosevelt in a wheelchair on a patio, with a black dog on his lap, smiling, looks down at a young girl standing at his left side
Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a wheelchair. Photo credit: Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library

Selected biography

Norah Lillian Fry (1871–1960) was a member of a Bristol Quaker Fry family of the J. S. Fry & Sons company. She became an advocate and campaigner for disabled children and those with learning difficulties and was very concerned about the lack of proper schools for disabled children. In 1918 she became the first female councillor in Somerset. The Norah Fry research centre of the University of Bristol is named after her.


Related portals


  • Commons:Disabled people
  • Wikiquote:Disability


The Disability WikiProject is a project that helps to assemble writers and editors interested in Disability related articles. The aim of this project is to co-ordinate the improvement and creation of articles.

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