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  • Writer's pictureSFI Care Solutions

What Is a Physical Disability?

One of our specialisms is supporting adults living with a physical disability and following on from our blog about a learning disability, we thought we would put something together to explain what a physical disability is.


Whereas a learning disability is something that is caused when the development of a person’s brain is affected, a physical disability is a physical condition that affects a person’s mobility, physical capacity, stamina, or dexterity.


Whilst a physical disability does not necessarily stop you from doing things, it can make them more challenging due to a reduced ability to walk, move hands and arms or control your muscles.


What Causes A Physical Disability?


There are generally two causes of a physical disability, with the second listed cause being something that can develop at any time during life.


According to Government data, there are 13.9 million disabled people in the UK. That means that disabled people now make up 22% of the UK population. That’s over one-fifth of the population!

  • Hereditary/Congenital – where a person has been born with a physical disability or developed one due to inherited genetic problems, has suffered an injury at birth or has issues with their muscles.

  • Acquired – An acquired physical disability could be due to an accident, infection or disease, or as a side effect of a medical condition.

Common Types Of Physical Disability


There are a vast number of physical disabilities and each one affects a person differently.

A physical disability can include brain or spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, respiratory disorders, epilepsy, hearing & visual impairments and more.


Seven common types of physical disability are:


1. Acquired brain injuries

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