disability web

Disability is a normal part of human diversity. Disability may be permanent, temporary or fluctuating, and may have a minimal or substantial impact on a person's life. Disability may impact mobility, learning or communication and can result from accident, illness or genetic conditions.

Disability does not just refer to a person's health or wellbeing. It involves the interaction between the unique features and functions of a person's body and mind and the environment and socio-political context in which they live.

Disability does not equate to inability to achieve. People of determination have the same right as everyone else to make decisions for their own lives and to be active members of society.

Disability forms only a part of an individual's identity. While some people identify strongly with their disability, others may see it as just another part of what makes them unique.


For SAE policies, the term encompasses ‘disability’ as defined in the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992).

The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992) defines ‘disability’ in relation to a person as:

a)  Total or partial loss of the person’s bodily or mental functions; or

b)  Total or partial loss of a part of the body; or

c)  The presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness; or

d)  The presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness; or

e)  The malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of a person’s body; or

f)  A disorder of malfunction that results in the person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or

g)  A disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perceptions of reality, emotions or judgment or that results in disturbed behavior, and includes a disability that:

●  Presently exists; or

●  Previously existed but no longer exists; or

●  May exist in the future; or

●  Is imputed to a person.

For more information on the definitions of disability categories, please see here.