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Difference Between Disability, Handicap and Impairment

disability, handicap, and impairment

The words "impairment", "handicap" and "disability" are often used interchangeably. However, they have very different meanings. Differences in meaning are important for understanding the effects of injury. 


Difference between disability, handicap and impairment


Learn to use and the difference between disability, handicap and impairment on a simplified and very useful condition. 

1. How to use "disability"?

A physical or mental condition that limits a person's movements, senses, or activities.


  • When you are disabled it can be even more difficult to find a job, especially if you have limitation because of your disability.
  • disability benefit.
  • Disability increases with age .
  • Disability is a physical limitation on your life.
  • His disability caused this thing to fail.
  • She is deaf, but refuses to let her disability prevent her from doing what she wants to do.
  • They made no concessions to his disability.
  • Her lack of experience is a severe disability.
  • This public acknowledgment of Ted's disability pained my mother.
  • If anyone in the household has a disability.

2. How to use "handicap"?

A specific disease, injury, or defect suffered by a person that limits his ability to work in a normal capacity, and the official term for people with special needs.


  • Handicap parking spaces are restricted to authorized vehicles 24 hours daily.
  • lack of funding has handicapped the development of research.
  • He has a handicap of 200 metres.
  • Not speaking the language is a real handicap.
  • She can't drive because of her visual handicap.
  • Blindness is a great handicap.
  • In cases of severe mental handicap, constant supervision is recommended.
  • This could be a serious handicap to her education.
  • Her great height was rather a handicap.
  • My current golf handicap is nine.

3. How to use "impairment"?

The state or fact of being impaired, especially in a specified faculty.


  • The man was driving a car while impaired by alcohol.
  • drug use impairs job performance.
  • Consumption of alcohol impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery.
  • Smoking impairs our health.
  • This greatly impairs proper business planning and may well paralyse investment by the tenant in the property.
  • Addition of this phosphate group impairs the function of the essential protein, and viral protein synthesis fails to begin.
  • This impairs the efficiency of the braided shield and renders the cable open to interference.
  • impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery.
  • Loud noise impairs performance on the five-choice serial reaction time task in normal, rested subjects.
  • This impairs the circulation which then means that the body can not lose excess heat. 


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