Disabilities have been defined by the World Health Organisation as an umbrella term that covers impairments, physical limitations and participation restrictions.

They class an impairment as being a problem in body function or structure, an activity limitation is defined as a difficulty that is encountered by an individual when they are performing a task or action and a participation restriction is described as being a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations.

Through these types of official definitions we can understand that disabilities are very complex and are difficult to be accurately defined.

Helping people with disabilities

What was once thought of as merely a physical impairment now covers many more problems an individual may have, whether they be in the structure of the individual or rather in the mind. Generally disabilities are considered to reflect an interaction between features of a person's body juxtaposed against the features of the society where that individual lives.

People with disabilities are generally considered to have a lower quality of life, however through important healthcare and government advances, this is no longer the case. There are many social care activities that are involving those with physical and/or mental disabilities in order to allow them to fulfil an independent, higher quality of existence. Social care workers are regularly visiting those in need of support and helping them carry out practical tasks that need to be completed around the area where the individual lives.

Individuals can suffer from different disabilities that affect the body in different ways, as there are a number of ways in which a person can be classed as being disabled. For example an individual may qualify as being disabled if they have had an impairment in the past, including physical, sensory and cognitive.

Mental disorders, learning difficulties, terminal illness and chronic disease can also qualify a person as being disabled. These problems may have occurred from birth as a random genetic code or perhaps they will occur throughout life through illness or accident. No matter how, why or what any person who is classed as being disabled is offered the same level of help and service by social workers.

There are many people within the UK who do not understand that disabled people may have different levels of what they can accomplish. For example a job such as being a columnist can be achieved by a person with a physical disability to the same level as an fully able-bodied person and equally a person who suffers from a mental disability can be capable of performing manual tasks such as labouring. However doctors and social workers can determine whether the individual is suitable for work and what type of work they are able to perform.

Through the tireless efforts of social workers many people suffering from disabilities can now enjoy a relatively independent life to a high quality standard. They can partake in activities, socialise more freely, access buildings easier and find accessible information and entertainment easier. Through social work many people have improved with their disability as well as finding work or hobbies that can fulfil their lives.