Definition of disability noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˌdɪsəˈbɪləti//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˌdɪsəˈbɪləti//
    (pl. disabilities)
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  1. 1[countable] a physical or mental condition that means you cannot use a part of your body completely or easily, or that you cannot learn easily a physical/mental disability people with severe learning disabilities
  2. 2[uncountable] the state of not being able to use a part of your body completely or easily; the state of not being able to learn easily He qualifies for help on the grounds of disability. Which Word?disabled / handicapped Disabled is the most generally accepted term to refer to people with a permanent illness or injury that makes it difficult for them to use part of their body completely or easily. Handicapped is slightly old-fashioned and many people now think it is offensive. People also now prefer to use the word disability rather than handicap. The expression disabled people is often preferred to the disabled because it sounds more personal. Disabled and disability can be used with other words to talk about a mental condition:mentally disabled learning disabilities. If somebody’s ability to hear, speak or see has been damaged but not destroyed completely, they have impaired hearing/​speech/​sight (or vision). They can be described as visually/​hearing impaired or partially sighted:The museum has special facilities for blind and partially sighted visitors.
  3. Word Familyable adjective (unable)ably adverbability noun (inability)disabled adjectivedisability nounExtra examples Many children with mild disabilities are integrated in general education. No one knows what causes learning disabilities. She has overcome her disability to become an artist. She saved the money from her monthly disability payments. She was a vocal disability activist. Staff members have been educated in disability issues. The drug’s utility in preventing long-term disability is unproven. Up to 20% have a learning disability. an article on disability rights an attempt to identify learning disability among children children who have severe developmental disabilities learning to live with disability lectures for students with hearing disabilities patients who have suffered disability after stroke the criteria required for disability status those with a visible or a hidden disability He has a permanent disability which prevents him from working as a labourer. She works in a school for children with learning disabilities.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: disability

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