Various Topics


Disability definition: 

Disability is a permanent or long-term total or partial impairment in one of the physical, sensory, mental, communicative, educational or psychological abilities. They mean that normal life requirements can not be met by the disabled person, leading them to depend on others to meet them, or need a special tool that requires special training or rehabilitation for good use.

Types of disability: 

including: Visual, hearing, mental, physical and motor disabilities, learning disabilities, speech disorders, behavioral and emotional disorders, autism, double and multiple disabilities, and other disabilities requiring special care. 
Each disability varies in severity from one person to another as well as its treatability.

1.     Motor disability:
Motor disability is divided into five types:

  • First: Cerebral palsy cases:
    It is a deficit in the nervous system of the brain region, resulting in paralysis that affects either all four limbs or lower limbs only, or affects one side of the body, whether the right side and the left side. Such paralysis results in a loss of control of the various voluntary movements.
  • Second: Degenerative muscle atrophy:
    A genetic disease that begins with the injury of the voluntary muscles in the four limbs of the patient, and then mutates and affects the rest of the involuntary muscles.
  • Third: Cases of fission or incision in the vertebrae of the spine:

Spinal cord biocytes are seriously injured when parts come out and their basic functions are completely or partially disabled.

  • Fourth: Various congenital malformations:

Various congenital abnormalities that occur for genetic or non-genetic reasons, and are during abnormal pregnancy, and affect the joints or bones, and these abnormalities appear in the form of a lack of growth of the limbs, or unusual warp in the bones.

  • Fifth: Other conditions with different diagnoses:
    Different conditions as follows: (polio, osteoporosis, endocrine disorders, spinal cord diseases, chronic peripheral nerve diseases, other chronic diseases affecting blood vessels).

2.     Mental disability:

Mental disability is defined as a state of stunted or incomplete mental development, particularly characterized by skills imbalance, manifested during the development cycle, and affecting the overall level of intelligence, i.e. cognitive, linguistic, motor, and social abilities. Underdevelopment may occur with or without another mental or physical disorder.

One of the best-known mental disabilities is Down syndrome, a congenital disorder caused by the presence of an excess chromosome in the cells of the body, with the probability of occurrence increasing with the age of the mother.

3.     Visual disability:

Visual disability ranges from total and partial blindness, and on this basis,  there are two types of visual disability:

    • The blind, whose visual condition requires the use of Braille. 
    • Visually impaired, who can see through visual aids.

4.     Hearing disability:

Hearing disability is a general term that covers a wide range of hearing loss degrees, ranging from deafness to severe loss to mild loss. The signs may be visible and may be hidden, leading to problems in the life of the child without knowing the cause, such as: academic failure, as the child may be described as stupid for not interacting with others. This is usually associated with many disabilities, such as: (Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, autism, hyperactivity disorder, lack of activity, palate incision, and cleft lip).

Causes of disability:

  • Genetic disorders, either because of the presence of genes inherited from a parent or because of an external trigger.
  • Some diseases that affect the mother or accidents during pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Complications of some diseases due to neglect of treatment and lack of control of the disease, such as:
    •  Diseases related to muscles and arthritis.
    • Heart disease and brain  stroke.
    • Cancer.
    • Diabetes.
    • Neural Diseases
  • Acquired disability resulting from work injury or accidents.
  • Ageing.
  • Unknown causes


Some types of disabilities caused by chronic diseases can be prevented by controlling them and preventing complications by:

  • Leading a healthy lifestyle, eating healthy food, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Periodic follow-up with the specialist to control the disease.
  • Ensure regular use of medications for the disease.

Social Rehabilitation for People with Disabilities:

Prepare individuals with disabilities to adapt and interact positively with the society and meeting the requirements of public life, through a range of social programs and activities, and to find good job opportunities that they need just like others.
Living with and caring for people with disabilities:

Those living with people with disabilities should seek to provide a safe and healthy environment as much as possible. Some key recommendations are:

  • Providing  daily care such as personal hygiene, eating, etc., and train them to do some basics if possible.
  • Providing innovative means for a person to meet his daily needs easily and safely without injury.
  • Ensure the safety and security in the surroundings of the person, such as providing the place with accessibility corridors to guide them and facilitate their  movements, for example.
  • Taking care of the social and psychological aspect, where this aspect can be improved by organizing periodic visits or trips for recreation.
  • Conducting outdoor activities and hobbies, and participating in some clubs, which would improve the psychological and physical condition of people with disabilities.
  • Ensure the participation of people with disabilities in daily work and family activities to boost their self-confidence and enhance their skills.
  • Attention to education and the development of the mental skills of the person by providing modern educational facilities to facilitate the receipt of information.
  • Ensuring balanced nutrition for people with disabilities; to prevent them from the problems of malnutrition such as anemia, thinness, excessive weight gain, or disease due to immunodeficiency. 


Health care (medication, physiotherapy, etc.) for people with disabilities depends on the type of their condition, However, it is advisable to ensure periodic doctor visits to follow-up treatment and take necessary vaccines to avoid infectious diseases.

The most important facts about disability and impairment in the world:

  • There are more than 1 billion patients with some form of disability or impairment, representing 15% of the world's population.
  • he incidence of disability and impairment in the world is increasing as a result of aging or some chronic diseases and the impact of diseases and its complications.
  • The number of people with disabilities or impairments is higher among low-income segments.
  • Half of people with disabilities do not receive good medical care.
  • Disabled children are less likely to attend school than healthy children, and therefore less likely to get a job.
  • People with disabilities suffer from difficult living conditions such as malnutrition, poor housing and sanitation.
  • There is a lack of rehabilitation centers for the disabled, and the availability of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, prostheses and hearing aids is scarce.
  • The disabled can participate in the development of society and play an active role.

Nutrition of the disabled:

  • Assess the nutritional status and estimate the actual needs of the disabled from the nutrients and energy.
  • Help improve his health, increase his immunity and resistance to diseases.
  • Early prevention of malnutrition problems such as anemia, obesity or thinness.
  • Making up for the lack of certain nutrients caused by taking some medications for a long time, or other problems such as constipation and vomiting.
  • Developing manual motor skills; training the disabled person to eat by himself.
  • Develop the behavior of the disabled child and strengthen his association with the community around him.

Factors affecting the nutrition of the disabled:

  • Physical problems and abnormalities such as oral movement, occlusion problems, inability to swallow or chew, and gastrointestinal insufficiency affect the nutrition of the disabled.
  • There are some drugs that inhibit or increase appetite, and some also reduce the absorption of nutrients such as iron, or cause other health problems such as vomiting, constipation and allergies.
  • Isolating the disabled from people or parents' ignorance or the absence of the mother close by the disabled child adversely affects the nutrition and psychological state of the disabled.
  • it is difficult to predict the development of a disabled child which makes it difficult to estimate their nutritional needs.
  • Nutritional needs of the disabled are the same as those of a healthy person; there is no special or specific nutrition, but the need for each nutrient is reduced or increased according to their health status, degree of disability and level of development.
  • Comparison between normal and disabled children in terms of growth and development and estimation of nutritional and health status is based on height, not age.
  • Each disabled person is treated on an individual basis, each with their own condition, which is different from the same segment and age.
  • it must be taken into consideration that the development and response of a disabled child is slower and less than a healthy person.

The importance of the disabled participation in development: 

People with disabilities face many challenges in their communities, where they remain largely marginalized and are often exposed to basic and complex problems, including poverty, unemployment, and inability to solve health issues, leading to higher mortality rates. Moreover, this group is largely dismissed from development projects in their communities, both civil and political.

Involvement experience: 

Experience shows that when persons with disabilities are empowered to participate and lead in development projects, it reflects positively on the entire community, and their participation creates opportunities for all, including persons with disabilities and their communities, in important development efforts to advance the development agenda; It is therefore essential to integrate persons with disabilities into development as a strategy to achieve equality for persons with disabilities.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and human rights treaties aim to consolidate efforts to ensure the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development efforts, and to provide an opportunity to promote relevant development policies in the implementation of internationally agreed development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals, thus contributing in a “Society for All "in the 21st century.

In KSA: 

The state has recognized the comprehensive rights of this segment of society and provided the means to support them to achieve their rights and ensure a decent living and the ability to integrate in all sectors of society through rehabilitation and healthcare. It also provided them with all means that enable them to live with their families, taking into account their needs and prioritizing them in all government sectors over others. 

What areas of disability and rehabilitation can persons with disabilities contribute to?

  • Awareness: People with disabilities can raise awareness in society about their rights, needs, potential and contributions.
  • Medical care, where states must ensure employment opportunities in medical care for persons with disabilities, or participation in the development of appropriate strategies for them.
  • Rehabilitation, where they can participate in the provision of rehabilitation services for people with disabilities; in order to push them to reach and maintain an optimal level of independence and performance.

Obstacles hindering the rights of persons with disabilities:

Many people with disabilities continue to be marginalized, often due to social reasons - the most important of which is the lack of awareness of the family members of the disabled rights, especially in terms of health. This is due to several reasons, including the lack of understanding of the nature of the disability, fear of dealing with it or shame, poverty, remoteness or lack of knowledge on how to deal with the condition and being unaware of the role assigned to health facilities.

Implications of not involving people with disabilities in development plans:  

  • Denying them participation increases the degree of severity of disability.
  • Turning the disabled into a marginalized and ineffective member of society leads to the deterioration of his condition.
  • Marginalization of the disabled causes aggressive or introverted behavior
  • A person with a disability is the person most aware of his or her needs, and lack of participation hinders plans for the prevention and treatment of disability-related diseases.
  • Increased level of unemployment and poverty.

What is meant by facilitating the use of electronic means for the disabled? 

The use of ICTs has become an integral part of the economic, educational and social life of many people; the use of websites must therefore be accessible to all, and persons with disabilities, like others, should have access to information.
Facilitating the use of electronic means and ICTs, such as the Internet, by persons with disabilities, means that: Websites should be designed in such a way that makes information accessible to users with disabilities. Some examples include: 

  • Making browsing easier for the blind, it is necessary to include programs that enable the interpretation of the contents of the websites, through an audio reading of the texts contained therein, and to explain any images contained therein. 
  •  To make it easier for people with visual impairment, it is possible to modify the size of the letters and change colors significantly.
  • To make things easier for deaf people or hearing-impaired people, audio content must be attached to text versions. By broadcasting a video in sign language, the availability and accessibility of content is improved for that segment. 

Why is the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities important? 

People with disabilities are often denied employment, study and full participation in society, detrimental to the unleashing of their energy and well-being.  The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the important conventions in this regard, because it is a tool to ensure that this category benefits from the same rights and opportunities as all other groups, with nearly 1 billion persons with disabilities in all areas. 
The Convention is one of the human rights treaties designed by representatives of the international community, including persons with disabilities, government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations and others, to change the way people perceive and treat persons with disabilities in their communities. 
The Convention urges people all over the world to understand disability as a human rights issue, rather than as a medical issue, or a charity or dependence matter. It covers many areas where obstacles can arise, such as access to buildings, use of roads and transport, and access to information through written and electronic communications. It also aims to reduce the forms of discrimination that often prevent people with disabilities from accessing education, employment, health and other services. 
For the first time, there is now an international legally binding instrument to ensure that States that have ratified the treaty promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as seeking to develop their own national civil rights legislation to improve the lives of persons with disabilities. 


  • The cooperation and participation of persons with disabilities in their communities has the greatest impact on the physical and psychological health and progress of persons with disabilities, and the provision of an active, participatory and more independent community member, rather than relying on others.
  • Provide material and moral support for the equal participation of persons with disabilities.
  •  Countries should ensure development and support services, including assistive devices and technologies, to help persons with disabilities increase their level of independence in their daily lives.
  • Training employees: Trainers and training opportunities should be created for staff, at all levels, in addition to involvement in planning and providing programs and services for persons with disabilities.
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Last Update : 12 September 2019 04:22 PM
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