Disability Categories
Cognitive Impairment

Cognitive Impairment — Affects the ability to think, concentrate, formulate ideas, reason and remember. It is distinct from a learning disability insofar as it may have been aquired later in life as a result of an accident or illness.
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Cognitive Impairment (all types) —
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Intellectual impairment — Refers to a condition where powers of comprehension, information processing abilities are affected to the point where it affects the persons ability to perform
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Deaf-Blind

Deaf-Blind — Refers to sensory impairment, visual impairment and hearing impairment, occurring in combination with each other. Frequently, other disabilities also occur with the combination of a visual and hearing impairment. The combination of these disabilities causes significant challenges to accommodation. Tactile solutions are often appropriate.
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Deaf-Blind —
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Dexterity Impairment (Arms/Hands/Fingers)

Dexterity Impairment (Arms/Hands/Fingers) — Reduced function of arms and hands makes activities related to moving, turning or pressing objects difficult or impossible. This does not influence speech communication itself but makes it hard to make a phone call or use a wide range of other equipment.
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Cannot use fingers — This can seriously affect a person's ability to use a computer keyboard and mouse.
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Cannot use one arm — Causes difficulty in typing. The constant reaching for a mouse and increased demands on the useful arm puts persons in this category at high risk of developing Repetitive Strain Injury in the working arm. A person in this category must be provided with the best possible workstation ergonomics as well as the appropriate assistive device.
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Dexterity Impairments (all types) —
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Hand Tremors — Causes difficulty in writing, keyboarding, mouse use etc.
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Reduced co-ordination — Hand/eye coordination is necessary on traditional computers. Cursor movement on the screen responds to minute movements of the mouse by the hand. Typing also requires a certain amount of coordination and dexterity.
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Reduced strength — Refers to persons who have disabilities that affect depressing computer keys, mouse clicks, lifting reference material etc. May require adaptations to the workstation that allow for low or no impact computing as well as other workstation modifications.
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Reduced Strength—Arm — Persons who have disabilities that affect depressing computer keys, mouse clicks, lifting reference material etc. May require adaptations to the workstation that allow for low or no impact computing as well as other workstation modifications.
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Reduced Strength—Hand — Persons who have disabilities, which affect depressing computer keys, mouse clicks, lifting reference material etc. May require adaptations to the workstation that allow for low or no impact computing as well as other workstation modifications.
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Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) — Extremely prevalent in recent years due to the intensive computer use. It is a separate category even though many of the symptoms are covered in other categories. RSI is a result of repetitive procedures that gradually affect the user. It sometimes becomes so severe that the person cannot even pick up a pencil. Risk of RSI can be reduced dramatically through ergonomically designed work stations and prevention training. All computer users should take frequent short breaks and vary physical activities during the day. A saying among health professionals is, It is much harder to get RSI than it is to get rid of it. Prevention is key. Treatment can last up to a year or longer and may include surgery. There are assistive devices designed to aid persons with RSI work in a more natural position and put less strain on the body.
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Elderly

Elderly — Older people tend to be slower to learn new skills, have difficulty in memorising and reacting quickly to instructions. Also many elderly people prefer human assistance to using self-service terminals. However, this is not insuperable with suitable user interfaces and appropriate training. Many elderly people use the telephone or video cassette recorder even though they may not be familiar with all of its facilities.

Many of the symptoms characteristic of aging are covered in other categories, Problems may include hearing, vision, dexterity, mobility and cognitive. Sometimes there is a combination of several disabilities stemming from the aging process. Many products are cross-functional addressing several different disabilities. Therefore, an aging person may not require a specific adaptive device for every disability. This should be considered when choosing an aid.
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Hearing Impairment

Hearing Impairment — Hearing impairment is a generic term including both deaf and hard of hearing which refers to persons with any type or degree of hearing loss that causes difficulty working in a traditional way. It can affect the whole range or only part of the auditory spectrum which, for speech perception, the important region is between 250 and 4,000 Hz. The term deaf is used to describe people with profound hearing loss such that they cannot benefit from amplification, while hard of hearing is used for those with mild to severe hearing loss but who can benefit from amplification.
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Deaf (+/- deafened) — Refers to those persons with hearing impairments with a loss so severe that it precludes the use of the auditory channel as the primary means of Speech/Language and information processing.
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Hard of hearing — Refers to those persons with hearing impairments with a permanent or fluctuating hearing loss which is permits the use of the auditory channel for a certain amount of speech/language and information gathering functions with the use of an aid.
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Hearing Impairments (all types) —
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Learning Disability

Learning Disability — A specific learning disability results from problems in one more of the central nervous system processes involved in perceiving, understanding and/or using concepts through verbal (spoken or written) language or nonverbal means. It manifests itself with a deficit in one or more of the following areas: attention, reasoning, processing, memory, communication, reading, writing, spelling, calculation, coordination, social competence and emotional maturity.

It affects:

INPUT
•How information is taken in.
•Perception (How it is perceived)
•Auditorily (How well information is heard)
•Visually (How well information is seen)
•Tactually (How well information is input by touch)

INTEGRATION
•How new information is taken in, understood and linked to old information.
•Concept formation.
•How multiple ideas are combined.

OUTPUT
•How information that has been learned and assimpilated is shown to others.
•Written expression
•Organization of thoughts and understanding of Logical Progression.
•Oral expression (A speech or explanation of what has been learned)
•Organization of thoughts and understanding of Logical Progression.
•Demonstration (A project demonstrating what they have learned)
• Organization of thoughts and understanding of Logical Progression.

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Attention Deficit (Difficulty Focusing) — Attention Deficit Disorder is a biologically based condition causing a persistent pattern of difficulties resulting in one or more of the following behaviors:
•inattention
•hyperactivity
•impulsivity

Inattention: difficulty attending or focusing on a specific task. People with Attention Deficit Disorder may become distracted within a matter of minutes. Inattentive behavior may also cause difficulties with staying organized (e.g. losing things), keeping track of time, completing tasks and making careless errors.

Hyperactivity: difficulty inhibiting behavior. These people are in constant motion. They may engage in excessive fiddling, leg swinging and squirming in their chair.

Impulsivity: difficulty controlling impulses. These people do not stop and think before they act. They say and do whatever comes into their mind without thinking about the consequences. They might say something inappropriate and regret it later, blurt out a response to question before a person is done speaking to them or have difficulty waiting for their turn in line.

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Dyscalculia — Difficulty performing math calculations. A learning disability which affects math.
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Dysgraphia — Difficulty expressing thoughts in writing. It is used to refer to extremely poor handwriting.
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Dyslexia —
Dyslexia is a learning disability that involves reading. Other similar terms include Dysgraphia (writing disability) and Dyscalculia (math disability). Dyslexia is probably the most common LD term which the general public hears. The word "dyslexia" simply means difficulty understanding written words.

The following are some common signs of Dyslexia:
•trouble expressing verbal language
•poor reading comprehension
•poor spelling
•difficulty reading — trouble identifying individual words
•trouble expressing thoughts in written form
•difficulty listening to or following directions — may hear words incorrectly
•confusion about directions in space and time, (e.g. left from right, up from down, months of the year)
•letter reversals (e.g. writing b for d or vice versa), trouble sequencing letters, (e.g. "left" for "felt").
•may see words as upside down, blurred or distorted
•difficulty with handwriting
•difficulty with mathematics — using mathematical symbols,
•sequencing steps to solve a mathematical problem

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Learning Disabilities (all types) —
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Mobility Impairment

Mobility Impairment — Reduced function of legs and feet leads to users depending on a wheelchair or artificial aid to walking. In addition to people who are born with a disability, this group includes a large number of people whose condition is caused by age or accidents.
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Cannot walk without aid — It is important that these persons are given proper workstation ergonomics because problems in the legs often cause poor posture which put the person at risk of developing other problems such as back strain.
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Mobility Impairments (all types) —
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Wheelchair user — An employee who uses wheelchairs often requires a modified workstation. The keyboard height, desktop and monitor height need to be adjusted to assure proper ergonomics.
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Speech and Language Impairment

Speech and Language Impairment — Speech impairment may influence speech in a general way or only certain aspects of it, such as fluency or voice volume. Language impairment may be associated with a more general intellectual impairment.
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Language impairment — An impairment in the ability to understand and/or use words in context, both verbally and non-verbally. Some characteristics of language impairment include improper use of words and their meanings, inability to express ideas, inappropriate grammatical patterns, reduced vocabulary and inability to follow directions. One or a combination of these characteristics may occur those who are affected by language learning disabilities or developmental language delay. The person may hear or see a word but not be able to understand its meaning. They may have trouble getting others to understand what they are trying to communicate.
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Non-Verbal — Persons who cannot communicate through the use of voice. Persons who are non-verbal must communicate through Augmentative or Alternative Communication Devices.
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Speech and Language Impairment (all types) —
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Speech impairment — The impairment of speech articulation, voice, fluency, or the impairment language comprehension and/oral expression or the impairment of the use of a spoken or other symbol system. Might be characterized by an interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech, such as stuttering, which is called dysfluency. Speech disorders may be problems with the way sounds are formed, called articulation or phonological disorders, or they may be difficulties with the pitch, volume or quality of the voice. There may be a combination of several problems. People with speech disorders have trouble using some speech sounds, which can also be a symptom of a delay. They may say see when they mean ski or they may have trouble using other sounds like l or r. Listeners may have trouble understanding what someone with a speech disorder is trying to say. People with voice disorders may have trouble with the way their voices sound.
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Visual Impairment

Visual Impairment — Blindness implies a total or near total loss of the ability to perceive form. Low vision implies an ability to utilise some aspects of visual perception, but with a greater dependency on information received from other sources.
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Blindness — Legally blind indicates that a person has less than 20/200 vision in the better eye or a very limited field of vision (20 degrees at its widest point); Totally blind people cannot see at all. This makes it impossible to view a computer monitor and renders the computer inaccessible without adaptive assistance and non-visual media.
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Colour Blindness — Inability to perceive colours in a normal fashion. The most common colour scheme that is affected is red/green. Another common colour scheme is blue/yellow. Colour blindness almost exclusively affects men. Incidence is about 1 in 10. The primary implication on computer operation is colour scheming on the screen.
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Low Vision — Severely visually impaired after correction but can increase visual function with the use of adaptive aids. According to the World Health Organization, Low Vision corresponds to visual acuity of less than 6/18 (0.3) but equal to or better than 3/60 in the better eye with best correction. When ordinary eye glasses, contact lenses or intraocular lens implants cannot provide sharp sight and an individual is said to have low vision. Although reduced central or reading vision is common, low vision may also result from decreased side (peripheral) vision, a reduction of loss of color vision, or the eye's inability to properly adjust to light, contrast or glare.
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Visual Impairments (all types) —