Different Types of Disabilities: List of 21 Disabilities

There are innumerable types of disabilities that can affect a human being. Some of these conditions are more common than the others. Some of the types of disabilities are recognized by the government in order to provide disability benefits to the needy ones. Often people wonder what are the disabling conditions that are more prevalent. Here is the list of 21 disabilities that have been identified under the RPWD Act 2016 of India.

21 Types of Disabilities

Following is the list of 21 disabilities as per RPWD Act 2016. Please note that different countries may have identified a similar but not the same set of condition for providing benefits to persons with disabilities.

1. Blindness

Blindness is defined as the state of being sightless. A blind individual is unable to see. In a strict sense the word blindness denotes the condition of total blackness of vision with the inability of a person to distinguish darkness from bright light in either eye.

2. Low-vision

Low-vision means a condition where a person has any of the following conditions, namely:

  1. visual acuity not exceeding 6/18 or less than 20/60 upto 3/60 or upto 10/200 (Snellen) in the better eye with best possible corrections; or
  2. limitation of the field of vision subtending an angle of less than 40 degree up to 10 degree.

3. Leprosy Cured Persons

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease (HD), is a chronic infectious disease caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium leprae. The disease mainly affects the skin, the peripheral nerves, mucosal surfaces of the upper respiratory tract and the eyes. Leprosy is known to occur at all ages ranging from early infancy to very old age. About 95% of people who contact M. Leprea do not develop the disease.

4. Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment is a partial or total inability to hear. It is a disability which is sub-divided in two categories of deaf and hard of hearing.

  • “Deaf” means persons having 70 dB hearing loss in speech frequencies in both ears.
  • “Hard of hearing” means person having 60 dB to 70 dB hearing loss in speech frequencies in both ears.

5. Locomotor Disability

Strictly speaking Locomotor Disability means problem in moving from one place to another — i.e. disability in legs. But, in general, it is taken as a disability related with bones, joints and muscles. It causes problems in person’s movements (like walking, picking or holding things in hand etc.)

6. Dwarfism

Dwarfism is a growth disorder characterized by shorter than average body height.

7. Intellectual Disability

Intellectual disability, also known as general learning disability and mental retardation (MR), is a condition characterized by significant limitation both in intellectual functioning (reasoning, learning, problem solving) and in adaptive behavior which covers a range of every day, social and practical skills.

8. Mental Illness

Mental illness or mental disorder refers to a substantial disorder of thinking, mood, perception, orientation or memory that grossly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality or ability to meet the ordinary demands of life. But it does not include retardation which is a condition of arrested or incomplete development of mind of a person, specially  characterized by sub-normality of intelligence.

9. Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological and developmental disorder which affects communication and behavior. Autism can be diagnosed at any age. But still it is called a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life. Autism affects affects the overall cognitive, emotional, social and physical health of the affected individual.

10. Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a disabling physical condition in which muscle coordination is impaired due to damage to the brain. It occurs at or before child birth. Cerebral Palsy is not a progressive condition; meaning it does not get worse with time. However, muscle disuse could increase the extent of disability over the period of time. At present there is no cure available for this condition. Thus, Cerebral Palsy is incurable and life-long condition, at present.

11. Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular Dystrophy (MD) is a group of neuromuscular genetic disorders that cause muscle weakness and overall loss of muscle mass. MD is a progressive condition; meaning that it gets worse with the passage of time.

12. Chronic Neurological Conditions

Examples of Chronic Neurological Conditions:

  1. Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia
  2. Parkinson’s disease
  3. Dystonia
  4. ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  5. Huntington’s disease
  6. Neuromuscular disease
  7. Multiple sclerosis
  8. Epilepsy
  9. Stroke

13. Specific Learning Disabilities

Specific Learning Disabilities is a group of disabling conditions that hampers a person’s ability to listen, think, speak, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. One or more of these abilities may be hampered.

14. Multiple Sclerosis

In Multiple Sclerosis (MS), the immune system of body attacks the Central Nervous System, which includes brain and spinal cord. As a result of MS, the myelin sheath covering on neurons gets damaged. This exposes the nerve fiber and causes problems in the information flow through nerves. With time, MS can lead to the permanent damage to nerves.

various types of disabilities

15. Speech and Language Disability

A permanent disability arising out of conditions such as laryngectomy or aphasia affecting one or more components of speech and language due to organic or neurological causes.

16. Thalassemia

Thalassemia is a genetically inherited blood disorder which is characterized by the production of less or abnormal hemoglobin. As we know, hemoglobin is a protein found in Red Blood Cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen around in the body. Thalassemia results in large numbers of red blood cells being destroyed, which leads to anemia. As a result of anemia, person affected with Thalassemia will have pale skin, fatigue and dark coloration of urine.

17. Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a blood disorder characterized by the lack of blood clotting proteins. In the absence of these proteins, bleeding goes on for a longer time than normal. Hemophilia almost always occurs in males and they get it from their mothers. Females are rarely affected with hemophilia.

18. Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle Cell Disease is a group of blood disorders that causes red blood cells (RBCs) to become sickle-shaped, misshapen and break down. The oxygen-carrying capacity of such misshapen RBCs reduce significantly. It is a genetically transferred disease. Red Blood Cells contain a protein called hemoglobin. This is the protein that binds oxygen and carry it to all the parts of the body.

19. Multiple Disabilities including Deaf-blindness

Multiple Disabilities is the simultaneous occurrence of two or more disabling conditions that affect learning or other important life functions. These disabilities could be a combination of both motor and sensory nature.

20. Acid Attack Victims

An acid attack victim means a person disfigured due to violent assaults by throwing of acid or similar corrosive substance.

21. Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is Central Nervous System disorder which affects movement. Parkinson’s disease is characterized by tremors and stiffness. It is a progressive disease, which means that it worsens with time. There is no cure available at present.

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61 thoughts on “Different Types of Disabilities: List of 21 Disabilities”

  1. Sir My Height is 127 centimeter female . Can I apply for Disability certificate

    Reply
    1. Dear Sir,
      Am having no vision in my right eye as am having amblophia and very low vision in my left eye…
      Am I eligible for Disability Certificate.
      Regards.
      Ranjeeta Rath.

      Reply
  2. Hello,

    I have a question. I am a teacher with several “school related” incidents / injuries at work concerning my right ankle, as well as a shoulder. At one time I slipped on water from AC unit overhead and shattered my right ankle. Another time, I fell on broken sidewalk when forced to exit the building through a door with no lights, that I was’t familiar with exit, grass knew high. The last injury concerns the right shoulder and elbow, as I was trampled at work. I loss the use of my right hand and arm. I have regained use, but will always be weak with right hand due to ulnar nerve entrapment.

    Please keep in mind that my work does not provide me with any worker’s comp nor does it follow restrictions from the surgeon.

    My ankle restrictions: No moving furniture, no wet floors, breaks when standing (no chairs in any rooms), stooping, climbing, lifting, etc. Plus, personal: no running, jumping, moving furniture, no stooping, climbing, repelling, lifting, etc. In both cases, I must wear orthopedic shoes with inserts and an ankle brace at all times. My ankle is not stable, it is bone on bone, totally reconstructed, tendons and ligaments broke away with chipped ankle bone, tibia bossing was removed.

    Am I covered under A.D.A? What should I do about my place of employment not following accommodations / restrictions??

    Reply
    1. My brother recently bike accident facture her one leg hip neck of femur nd patella one leg is small 1 inch in another leg plz help me ph certificates I get it how?

      Reply
    2. Hello, I have arthritis in my shoulder. I have high blood pressure and diabetes. I also have nephropathy in one of my feet and lupus. I’m blind in one eye and I also had a stroke. Do I qualify for disability. Thank you

      Reply
  3. my age is 34 years married one, I don’t have job property as I am looking normal but I have eyesight left 2.5, right 2.75, my left ear having 15 to 20% hearing loss. My nerve’s are week because of less nutrition’s I cant sit without shaking any thing in the body 20 times in a minute even though I am very silent person, what ever thing I will start I will shiver very first any body will sees me and asks why are you shivering. To learn(books) any thing I have to put more efforts than the normal men, to under stand common social things or any regular situations it will take some( 10 to 15 minutes if concentratedly listened) time to analyze and under stand. If cant put one sight on it (I cant understand what is going on or even I receive negative think also). More over my personal life is also not so good because these type things happening with me my would bee recognized them and started to move away from me even though I don’t have any miss behavior with him. Even much more effort I put I cant get any job loosing at border just missing in BC-D reservation category.
    Please Please recognize or notice me which type of disability actually I am having.
    I hope you may understand my problem. my hand writing also very poor how many times i will try neatly it will always up and down dancing words only which will gain me stamp marks in my graduation level.
    DO I HAVE ANY DISABILITY OR ITS MY ILLUSITIONATION

    Reply
  4. Hi I have moderate degenerate osteoarthritis in knee that’s crippling when I have to work certain jobs. It’s crippling just on normal basis but worse when it’s Causing me to have to bend and be on knees for 8 hrs lifting and bending and stationary knees for 8 hrs straight Is this covered under the act

    Reply
    1. If im married with someone that’s on disability but we are not together do i qualify for disability because of him even though my son is over 21

      Reply
  5. I’m pulled out of my job on every few days to do a job I’m qualified for this job requires bending knees for long periods of time while kneeing on metal plates with continued bending and kneeling in a squared position for 8 hrs a day when pulled . I have degenerative moderate osteoarthritis in knee. That cortisone shots don’t help nor medicine. It’s very painful on normal day but when pulled to do other job on certain days causes me not to be able to walk after and cause pain I cry. Is this covered

    Reply
    1. Hi my name is John Heaton and I was on disability until I got incarcerated and when I came home I reviled and when I went to the state doctor he said so you’re already on disability you were I said yes sir he said okay I’ll tell him to put you back on and that was it the appointment was over he walked out of the room he never even looked at me he never examined me or anything what do I do I have a terminal illness call advanced stage vasculitis I have a tumor on my spinal cord I also have out of control diabetes I also have a host of very serious mental illnesses why will no one help me I have the education of a fourth grader they said but no one will help me what do I do man anyone please help

      Reply
  6. Hello,
    Your articles about types of disabilities are informative and related to human. I would be glad if you could share about some disorder of my father. A couple of months, his was hospitalized due to cardiac arrest and still he could not gain his consciousness. Following are some of the sign and symptoms shown;
    1. He is able to open his eyes but not able to respond.
    2. He is unable to move his body below shoulder to leg.
    3. He is able to feel the pain as we got him. So, question here,
    1. What disability it is?
    2. Is it possible to recover? If yes after how long?
    3. What remedy can we give to him?
    4. What treatment can we give him?

    Reply
  7. Ma.Cristina D. Delos Reyes

    my husband has an heart ailments for almost 5 years. he cant work because his heart doesn’t function properly. he is easily tired and can’t lift a heavy objects. he has an enlargement of a heart. Can he be covered with D.A.D.?

    Reply
  8. Can add or adhd be considered under people with disabilities act if it tends to impact my sons decision making?

    Reply
  9. Hi, I got injury on the job, l was a postal worker..the hospital said I had Neuromuscular disease, I was returned to work on light duty, the job that was presented to me did not exist. I was placed in a room with a table and told not to leave that room unless I was going to the bathroom. At the complaining constantly, the light duty job was taken away. Post inspector came to my house to let the air out of my tire, I caught the lady and call the police. She did not leave police spoke with her and said there’s nothing he can do not even give me her name she’s on duty. I showed him my tire with no air in it. He gave me a case number. The police left I walked over to her car she had a video camera on the front seat. I said to her if you’re there when I start my car up I’m going to run into you we’re going to court. I chased her all over the neighborhood. I was later charged with conduct on becoming a postal employee. They stopped my wage loss pay and put me on administrative leave. A year later I had a hearing before a administrative judge. That said that this was not contractual. He said this man was home under the US department of labor owcp pay. This did not happen at work or before he went home. You are instructed to make him hold. The very same day I got a call from the director of owcp Jacksonville Florida. Apologizing for not paying me wage loss and said the caseworker had made a mistake he also said that the post office is going to pay you for the year you are off. Not so said the post office they sent a letter to you saying that you are entitled to wage loss they’re going to pay you. No one paid me. I continue to complain I went to the FBI to file a complaint I showed them the letter they told me there’s nothing they can do this involves money although a crime have happened this will end up in civil court we cannot investigate this I went to my Congress lady she called the FBI and sent the letter they told her no can do this will end up as a silver matter we cannot turn over information in an investigation to be used in a civil matter. I went to the federal state attorney’s office, they said no can do get yourself a lawyer. I never returned to work I received no lost wages and found myself out of a job. There is no lawyers to represent me I would like to sue the Union apwu, for forgetting about me and the US department of labor and the post office for not paying me and taking away my job they said my job had been abolished because there was nothing they can do as far as offering me a job. I file the EEOC and one they offered me money but no job. So I refuse the money I am looking at going to federal court on my own. There is no lawyer

    Reply
  10. this is a very good thing to read about different types of disabilities in all countries and all states.

    Reply
  11. My son has only three chambers in heart instead of four. It is congenital. Is it a disability? If not, then why?

    Reply
  12. Hi I recently had a kidney transplant which was successful but I still have trouble with my knees. I have trouble going up and down stairs and in a lot of pain. Would this be under a disability?

    Reply
  13. I’ve had 2 strokes that has caused me short memory. I was asked to do early retirement from job for 20 years cause my job couldn’t find me a job that required me to be able to work from home. After I retired I got frozen shoulder and I’m unable to use my right hand like I use to before I had my 2 strokes that has caused numbness in 4 of my fingers except for my thumb I have arthritis in my middle finger which prevents to write real well and I’m unable to lift over 5 pounds and I’m right handed. Am I eligible for automatic approval for SSDI without seeing one of their medical doctors to be approved.

    Reply
  14. I was in a MVA in March 2020. My sternum was broken in two places. I am 62 years old, female. I work in a jail/prison, with male an female inmates. I have been on light duty since July 2020 after being out of work for 4 mths from the MVA. I also fell in November 2020 an broke my pelvic. I have osteoporosis’s, B-12 Immune deficiency, Low prssure which causes me to pass out when it drops, depression, migraine. Would I be able to receive Disability Retirement.

    Reply
  15. Hi, I am looking for some advice. I’ve problems with my feet, had two oporations on my left foot, I’ve problems with my neck arthritis. It’s now effecting my work, what help could I get? I am 62 this year.

    Reply
  16. I’ve had health issues for many years now I had back surgery in 2009 and ever since I’ve had more and mire problems… I have trouble walking my legs and feet get inflamed if I’m on my feet for to long… I feel like I’m going to lose my balance all the time… But. I just recently found out that I have cancer… I go through surgery on the 23 of February, and don’t know if I have to undergo radiation or anything until after the surgery…

    Reply
  17. hello i want to know if i have a disability not only do i have a hard time learning math but also think i have a speech disability because i have a real bad lisp when i talk and on the mental side i am 23 and have never been able to stop myself from pissing in the bed at night i am homeless at the moment and i am unable to get the nasel spray i need from a doctor

    Reply
  18. kezziah wakabari mureithi

    Hi iam an adullt 40 years measuring 4ft 9 inches and working my question is can i be tax exempted .And if so can i get a refund for the tax deducted since i was employed.

    Reply
  19. I have conversion disorder panic attacks daily. Do I qualify for a disability pension
    When should I hear back if I’m accepted

    Reply
  20. I am suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia since 1998. It was operated two times once in 2005 and second in 2015. It doesn’t make any difference. Can I apply for Disability certificate?

    Reply
  21. vitiligo patient need more care from state,
    they need more money for better treatment like photo therapy and steroid,
    please kindly take necessary step to issue disability certificate,

    Reply
  22. I have spondylosis, allergic cough and sever gastric pain. Can I get disability certificate?

    Reply
  23. Hello sir I am having varicose veins in both of my legs, I can neither sit or stand for a long time. Can I apply for physical disability certificate?

    Reply
  24. I’m 59yr old, since the age of 19 I have had 9 deep vein thrombosis. 2 of which traveled to my lungs. As of last May 2020, I through a blood clot to the heart.I am on Blood thinner for life, have 2stents in my body.
    Last March 3 2020 I came down with Covid 19. I was never hospitalized until May with the blood clot.
    I had bilateral partial colapsed lower lung.
    When in the hospital I found out I have breast cancer. Stage 1 found out only because of covid. Had partial mastectomy, 34 radiations and currently taking a chemo pill for 5 years. To which some days are good, some days I’m nauseated all day, have headaches.
    I’m also a covid long hauler. I currently take 10 pills everyday. A rescue inhaler, nebulizer, very fatigued, my hands, knees and hips hurt all the time making it difficult to write or walk. Memory problems which interferes with my work. Currently applying for intermittent LOA to protect my job. It’s been recommended that I apply for disability.

    Reply
  25. Hi i just get out from the hospital and i got sick because of my highblood and i got my 1st heart attack and got covid,can i still file for pwd?thanks

    Reply
    1. Renato P. Bermudez

      Good day I was operated coz of kidney stone last 12 yrs ago., unfortunately I was diagnosed currently with kidney stone again, same location, in Right kidney at same time I got may pwd I’d bcoz of Chronic lower back pain with L2 over L3 displacement. Bcoz of that I will ask question, I’m I qualified for Disability pension? Thank you.

      Reply
  26. I had a craniotomy 11 years ago. A year later it came back and I had to have gamma knife. It was a huge amount of radiation to the brain. I had a lot of side effects from both surgery and radiation. I now suffer from horrible headaches and pain from scar tissue. Now 11 years later I have to have another craniotomy due to the tumor increasing in size. Last time I had speech issues and balance issues. Do I qualify for disability?

    Reply
  27. Sir, I’m a chronic osteomyelitis patient with partial sensation in my right. It happened due to the wrong injection by the doctor. at the age of 1. It made my foot turned inwardly and I could not walk properly like normal people. Properly nerve damaged. Can I claim a 40% disability certificate?

    Reply
  28. Good Day, I undergone a nephrectomy on my right last April 17,2021.Do I qualify for PWD?tnx

    Reply
  29. Cherlyn Peterson

    Hi, I just found out 2 days ago that I have a disability that is covered by ADA, and finding out answered a lot of questions concerning work. I have rheumatoid arthritis and in 2009 I had each knee replaced. I came back to work and noticed I had fewer work duties, I was able to take off at any time proving a doctor’s notes. Over the years things have really changed. I have even taken promotional exams and got promoted. But it bothers me that I don’t do much work. Once finding out why all this happened I guess they didn’t want to take the chance of having a lawsuit. You learn something new every day.

    Reply
  30. My boyfriend has the crohn disease he also has a ostomy bag he wants to apply for disability but how does he get medical care without his insurance every 4 week he get medication at the hospital thru an I.v and without his medication his holes will open more and drain much more . We need some one to help and advice us in the right direction. He is feeling depressed and has lost at lot of weight he was just released from the hospital and was given 3 pints of blood and told that also his kidney will be in in danger and sooner or later he will need dialysis. All of this is taken a toll on him mentally and emotionally. He need help . Thank you someone who cares

    Reply
  31. My Lawyer who was supposed to help me get SSDI misrepresented me.She was shocked that I didn’t get approved and appealed yet she never told me to go to my psych,etc.Now it’s been over 5yrs so I only qualify for SSI which will lower my monthly income at least 500.00. Do I have a legal case? I’ve had 15surgeries plus ADD,depression,anxiety,social anxiety,PTSD, and I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder a year ago. I have a PCA 21hrs a wk and have so much pain but am unable to have anymore surgeries right now. My back surgeon refuses as I almost died after my 2nd one and both my shoulders are all ripped up again. I have metal in both ft,my front and back. She never was proactive and I would call and she blew me off continously. Sheri Mn

    Reply
  32. Inocencio T. Mayos

    …my left kidney was removed due to cancer…am i considered a PWD?…tnx…

    Reply
  33. I have many disabilities I have a mobility scooter to get around as this is my independence. I have Scoliosis, 2 Vertibrea fused together in my neck (C7-T1), Scatica, Depression, oh and many more

    Reply
  34. I would like to find out what type of disability is my son. He is 20 years old and was told by the doctor years back my son is autistic with learning disabilities.
    He plays the computer very well. he interact well with his selected friends and family members. he cannot read the time from a clock. When we tell him not to do certain things, he will repeat the next day.
    His hands are hands is monkey like and a bit longer than normal but his arm overall is normal. He walks and runs different like dragging & sweeping of his feet.

    Reply
  35. Chamarthi Venkata Phani Bhaskar

    Please enter the my case. My case is the lamellar ichthyosis. I have no sweat glands in the whole body and my skin is dry.

    Reply
  36. I have narcolepsy. I have been self sufficient for 15 years with the help of medication and public transportation. I DO NOT DRIVE a motor vehicle as I believe it would be irresponsible of me to do so. Would this be classified as a disability and enable me to qualify for reasonable accommodation from a future employer?

    Reply
  37. Sanjoy chatterjee

    My Daughter 18 yrs. She is suffering from right side facial paralysis since birth.medical board issued her pwd certificate of 60%. Her affected area right chick, right eye, can she get pwd quota for JEE mains?

    Reply

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