Portal:Disability

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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."

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Seated boy facing 3/4 away from camera, looking at a ball-and-stick model of a molecular structure. The model is made of colored magnets and steel balls.
People with Asperger's often display intense interests, such as this boy's fascination with molecular structure.

Asperger syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other such disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical use of language are frequently reported.

Asperger syndrome is named after the Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger who described it in 1944. Fifty years later, it was standardized as a diagnosis, but many questions remain about aspects of the disorder. For example, there is doubt about whether it is distinct from high-functioning autism (HFA); partly because of this, its prevalence is not firmly established and it has been proposed that the diagnosis be replaced by one of autism spectrum disorder on a severity scale.

The exact cause is unknown, although research supports the likelihood of a genetic basis; brain imaging techniques have not identified a clear common pathology. There is no single treatment: interventions are aimed at improving symptoms and function but their effectiveness is supported by only limited data. The mainstay of management is behavioral therapy. Most individuals improve over time, but difficulties with communication, social adjustment and independent living can continue into adulthood. Some researchers and people with Asperger's regard it as a difference, rather than a disability that must be treated or cured.

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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

Right semiprofile head and shoulders photo of the young Helen Keller wearing a high-necked crocheted white blouse

Helen Keller (June 27, 1880–June 1, 1968) was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become known worldwide through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker.

A prolific author, Keller was well traveled, and was outspoken in her opposition to war. A member of the Socialist Party USA and the Wobblies, she campaigned for women's suffrage, workers' rights, and socialism, as well as many other leftist causes.

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Wikimedia

  • Commons:Disabled people
  • Wikiquote:Disability

WikiProjects

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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