Broadly construed, a disability is an impairment in physical, mental, intellectual, and/or sensory functioning. Disabilities are usually classified as severe, profound, moderate, or mild, depending on the individual’s need for support, which may be lifelong. Specific types of disabilities are diverse and often multifaceted, including intellectual; physical (e.g., hearing, vision, paralysis, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, missing extremities); speech, language, and learning; and psychiatric (e.g., anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, anorexia). A disability can manifest at any time within a person’s life (although developmental disabilities typically manifest before the ages 18–22 years), and it can be visible or invisible, long-term, episodic, or temporary and thus vary in the degree to which it imposes limitations and resists effective treatment. The causes of disabilities are also extensive and may ...

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