Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental, or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person's lifetime.

International classification of impairments, disabilities, and handicaps

Presents a system for classifying impairments, disabilities, and handicaps with the aim of improving information on the consequences of disease. Three independent classifications are presented. Impairments are classified according to abnormalities of body structure and appearance or disturbances of organ or system function resulting from any cause (‎disturbances at the organ level)‎. The classification of disabilities reflects the consequences of impairment in terms of functional performance and activity by the individual (‎disturbances at the individual level)‎.

Disability as Human Variation: Implications for Policy

The impact of any disability policy depends on the conceptual model of disability upon which that policy rests. For the past quarter century of disability policymaking, culminating in the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the dominant paradigm of disability has been a minority group model. That model identifies discrimination as the primary barrier facing people with disabilities in their desire for full social participation, and it proposes civil rights strategies as the proper policy response to that barrier.

Nothing about us without us: disability oppression and empowerment

James Charlton has produced a ringing indictment of disability oppression, which, he says, is rooted in degradation, dependency, and powerlessness and is experienced in some form by five hundred million persons throughout the world who have physical, sensory, cognitive, or developmental disabilities. Nothing About Us Without Us is the first book in the literature on disability to provide a theoretical overview of disability oppression that shows its similarities to, and differences from, racism, sexism, and colonialism.

Charlton, James I.

James I. Charlton is an American author, disability rights activist, and Executive Vice President of Access Living in Chicago. He holds that disability is socially constructed. He created a model of the disability rights movement that differentiates between a number of different kinds of organizations.

Source: Wikipedia

Constructive Functional Diversity: A new paradigm beyond disability and impairment

This article presents a more dynamic and constructive paradigm than the current dominant ones (for example medical or social models), to describe and change the impact of impairment and disability. The reflections contained are inspired by personal and professional frustration with the existing polarized ideology of human function, which fails to adequately describe the diversity of physiological and psychosocial function amongst people. It aims to provoke and inspire dialogue about our current paradigm of human function in relation to value and capacity.