Physical disability

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A physical handicap is an individual physical handicap of a person, a physiological deficit or handicap.

Definition of terms

According to Christoph Leyendecker , a person is referred to as physically handicapped if , as a result of damage to the musculoskeletal system , other organic damage or a chronic disease , their behavior is so impaired that self-realization in social interaction is difficult (cf.Leyendecker 2005).

Franz Schönberger differentiates between two aspects or levels of physical disability:

  1. A somatic aspect (concerning the body): "Physical disability is the result of damage to the supporting and locomotor organs". These lesions cerebral movement disorders such as include spina bifida , muscular dystrophy , the Cerebral palsy (ICP) u. a., and also physical damage such as diseases of the cardiovascular system , epilepsy , hemophilia , multiple sclerosis .
  2. A social aspect: "The disability is determined by the behavior that is usually expected from members of the most important reference group of the injured party". The handicap is not only identified by the deviation from the ideal , but also by the direct or indirect effect of this deviation on behavior.

In contrast, more recent perspectives and findings indicate that a disability does not arise from individual factors (e.g. physical impairment), but from barriers in the environment that do not allow people with impairments to participate equally in society. “The more unfavorable the environmental conditions, the more likely it is that the impairment takes on the weight of the handicap. Accordingly, relatively large proportions of disabilities are to be expected in socio-economically disadvantaged milieus. "

Insofar as there is a restriction in cognitive performance, the distinction between physical disability and cognitive disability is blurred; it is based, among other things, on the extent to which physical impairments of the brain are the cause of the reduced cognitive performance. Physical disability can also be part of a multiple disability .

Physical disability and society


From a certain degree of impairment, there is a right to a severely handicapped pass , which - sometimes only in connection with the corresponding note - entitles to compensation for disadvantages, such as tax relief , the use of disabled parking spaces , the European key or free transport in public transport .
There are special early support facilities, kindergartens , schools, vocational training and workshops for the disabled . The body needs education is a sub-discipline of special education , which is concerned with the education of handicapped persons.

United States

The United States of America is exemplary in the field of anti-discrimination law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 . This federal law grants every person with a disability full civil rights. According to Michael Asley Stein and Jeanette Lord, however, the employment opportunities for people with disabilities still leave much to be desired.

See also


  • Christoph Leyendecker: Motor disabilities. Basics, connections and funding opportunities. Kohlhammer. Stuttgart 2005
  • Reinhard Lelgemann, Jürgen Moosecker: Introduction to pedagogy for the physically handicapped. In: Stephan Ellinger, Roland Stein: Basic studies in special education. Bamberg 2005, ISBN 3-00-010877-7
  • Petra Fuchs: "Physically handicapped" between self-abandonment and emancipation. Self-help - integration - segregation . Luchterhand, Neuwied and Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-472-04450-0
  • Hans Stadler, Udo Wilken: Pedagogy for physical disabilities. Study texts on the history of disabled education Volume 4. Beltz Verlag. Weinheim, Basel, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-8252-2378-7 . Full text as PDF at ...
  • Harry Bergeest : Physically handicapped education. Study and practice. Bad Heilbrunn 2006, ISBN 3-7815-1478-1
  • Boy, Torsten; Schmincke, Imke: Marginalized Bodies. Contributions to the sociology and history of the other body. Unrast publishing house. Münster 2007, ISBN 978-3-89771-460-1
  • avanti donne (ed.): Stronger than you think !. Young women tell how they go their own way - despite their disabilities . Association avanti donne, contact point for women and girls with disabilities, Maisprach 2006, ISBN 978-3-033-00765-9
  • Marfan Foundation Switzerland (Ed.): A matter of the heart. Health literacy and empowerment in the case of chronic physical impairments using the example of Marfan's syndrome . Bern 2008, ISBN 978-3-033-01587-6

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Heinz Bach: Special pedagogy in outline ; Carl Marhold Verlagbuchhandlung, Berlin 1975, ISBN 3-7864-0324-4
  2. [1]