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In the introductory part of the World Disability Report published by the World Health Organization and the World Bank in 2011, disability was evaluated as follows:

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) uses disability as an umbrella term for disability, limitation of activity, and limitation of participation. Disability refers to negative situations that arise in the interaction of individuals with health problems (such as cerebral palsy, down syndrome, depression, and similar) with personal and environmental factors (such as negative attitudes, inaccessible transport and public buildings, and limited social support).

In line with the definition put forward by the World Health Organization, our unit aims to shape the solutions it will offer and the work it will do on the axis of understanding to include everyone with differences in ability as much as possible.

The information you will read contains expressions related to their fields in terms of terms because the literature is predominantly prepared in medical disciplines and the way they deal with disability. Our unit plans inclusive studies based on improvements to solve existing problems without characterizing differences as deficiencies or obstacles. The compiled information has been prepared in consultation with special education and rehabilitation specialists, and the resources are available at the end of the page.

Types of Disabilities

Visually Impaired,

Physically Disabled,

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD),

Learning Differences,

Psychiatric/Psychological Problems,

Speech and Language Issues

Hearing Impaired and Deafness,

Traumatic Brain Injuries,

Unclassified Ability differences.

Visually Impaired

Individuals who show a distinct developmental difference in their visual sense and have varying degrees of difficulty performing daily skills due to these differences are defined as visually impaired. In addition to the absence of visual remnants in some individuals, there may also be those with light perception or low visual remnants. Individuals who do not have severe visual skills but have difficulty doing some daily tasks (e.g., reading) can also be considered visually impaired. Among the definitions of visual disability encountered in the literature, the definition of the World Health Organization is the most used. This definition has been standardized based on visual acuity.

  • If the individual’s visual acuity is between 6/18 and 6/60, it was defined as mild visual impairment or low vision according to the old definition.
  • If the visual acuity is between 6/60 and 6/120, the individual is considered to be severely visually impaired.
  • If visual acuity is 6/120 or worse, it is defined as blindness.
  • In our country, it is observed that there are distinctions, such as those with low vision and those with low vision. However, according to the definition of the World Health Organization, although some individuals described as blind may have a certain degree of visual residual, it has been documented that the visual residual is not functional enough to reflect positively on the practices of the individual.

The findings of the above can be summarized as follows:

An individual with normal vision can select details from 18 meters, while a disabled individual can only select these details from 6 meters. However, while an individual with normal vision can see the details of an object from 120 meters, a disabled individual can perceive the exact details only from 6 meters.

Commonly encountered visual impairment situations are briefly explained below.

Diabetic Retinopathy, one of the eye diseases, occurs due to not providing the necessary blood to the retina or filling it.

Retinitis pigment: caused by deterioration of the retina.

A cataract occurs because the eye’s lens loses clarity; it can cause vision loss.

In addition to these, consanguineous marriages, the health status of the expectant mother, premature birth, damage to the optic nerves due to hereditary factors, and congenital vision loss due to developmental problems affecting the retina can be counted among the common causes of blindness.

Physically Disabled

It varies according to the severity of the physical condition and affects the physical mobility of the body differently. According to NDCCD (2004), physical disability, conditions occurring during pregnancy, childbirth, or progressive diseases affecting muscles and nerves such as multiple sclerosis (a disease affecting the central nervous system), Muscular Dystrophy (loss of muscle or nerve tissue as a result of degeneration) may occur as a result.

Spinal cord injuries (paralysis from the waist down or partial paralysis), Cerebral Palsy (cerebral palsy; may prevent or slow walking as a result of brain damage before or shortly after birth; may cause instability, muscle coordination, spasms, and difficulty speaking), stroke, paralysis, Child It also covers conditions such as paralysis (poliomyelitis).

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

It is one of the neuro-developmental problems manifested by inattention, impulsivity (inability to delay requests/acting without thinking Impulsivity), or hyperactivity problems that are not suitable for the age and development level of the individual. American Psychiatric Association (APA,) 1994). The condition can affect both behavior and learning, beginning in childhood. Symptoms of attention deficit, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are listed in the Diagnostic/ Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Examples of Attention Deficit Symptoms:

  • Inability to pay attention to details or make careless mistakes in schoolwork, lessons, and other activities;
  • Do not seem to listen when spoken to;
  • Failure to follow directions, failure to complete assigned assignments, work, or responsibilities (not due to disobedience or failure to understand directions);
  • Difficulty in organizing tasks and activities;
  • Too easily distracted by external stimuli;
  • Forgetfulness in daily work.

Example symptoms of impulsivity:

  • Answering the question asked without waiting for completion;
  • Difficulty waiting in line;
  • Do not interrupt or interrupt others.

Example symptoms of Hyperactivity:

  • Fidgeting of hands or feet, restlessness;
  • Usually ready for action or constantly on the go;
  • Nonstop talking.

Learning Differences

It is a neurodevelopmental condition that can affect the acquisition and use of speaking, listening, reading, writing, recall, and/or reasoning or mathematical competencies in individuals with average or above-average intelligence.

The marked difference between the academic achievement and intellectual potential of individuals with learning disabilities may be due to the way individuals have chosen to process information. Students with learning disabilities have difficulties in spoken and written language, reading competencies, math competencies, distinguishing similar sounds or hearing subtle differences between words, reasoning, remembering and recalling, following directions and concentrating, planning, managing and organizing, or socializing. In addition, they may have problems interpreting the clues (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, 2004).

Psychiatric / Psychological Problems

The condition manifests itself with chronic emotional and behavioral problems. Depression, manic-depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia fall into this group. These situations can affect people of all ages, genders, income groups, and intelligence levels (Davison, Neale, & Kring, 2003).

Speech and Language Issues

These problems may develop due to physical conditions such as hearing loss, cerebral palsy, brain damage, learning difficulties, cleft lip, or congenital cleft palate (unification of the midline forming the upper lip and palate).

It can manifest in varying degrees, from adding or removing simple sounds from words (articulation) or not using language. Problems such as fluency in the language or stuttering are also included in this group.

Hearing Impaired and Deafness

Students with hearing impairment; Depending on the degree of hearing loss, age of onset, and language or communication system they use (speech, sign language, lip reading), different arrangements may be needed according to the hearing aid they use and the systems that increase the sound volume.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

According to the Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS, 2006), the condition arises from the "destruction of the brain by sudden traumas.” Trauma to the brain can occur when the head hits an object suddenly and violently or when an object enters through the skull and damages brain tissue.

The characteristics of the situation may differ depending on the area of damage or damage. Problems in using the five senses, balance and coordination disorders, limited attention and concentration, physical complaints such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, changes in behavior and mood, difficulty in speaking, memory problems or short-term memory loss, and epileptic seizures a result of brain damage. May occur.

Unclassified Ability Differences

Conditions that affect one or more body systems, such as respiratory, nervous, intestinal, and immune systems. Asthma, cancer, epileptic seizures (sudden abnormal discharge of electrical current in the brain), diabetes, HIV+/AIDS, and chemical addictions can be examples of these conditions (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, 2004).


National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)

World Health Organization (WHO) Disability Report, 2011