Disability typically is understood as the problem of a selected group of individuals who meet a defined set of conditions. This primary focus on the “people with the problem” has resulted in a narrow framework for understanding disability and for developing appropriate and effective policies.

The experience of disability is intrinsic to the human condition. Everyone copes with some type of functional limitation to varying degrees and at different stages in their lives. Temporary impairment may occur at any time and is part of living. Yet disability policy continues to focus on a limited segment of the population.

We need to reform our policies that currently fail to capture the fact that disability is a population-wide concern.

Read more in Policy Options.

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