Chapters

The Disability Services Act 2011 (Tas) provides a definition of disability. This requires:

  • cognitive, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory or physical impairment, or a combination of these
  • permanence of the condition, or likelihood of permanence
  • a substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry out a profession, business or occupation, or participate in social or cultural life
  • a need for continuing significant support services
  • can be of a chronic episodic nature, rather than consistently ongoing. Schizophrenic episodes may qualify as being of a chronic episodic nature.

Disabilities are many and various. A person in a wheelchair is a person with a disability. A person with autism is a person with a disability. A person with muscular dystrophy is a person with a disability. A person with a disability can be of higher than average intelligence, they can be sportspeople and prominent members of the community. Having a disability does not prohibit a fulfilling engagement with life and the world. In fact, people with disabilities are no different than you or I. Everyone has something they are able to do, and something they are unable to do – everyone has abilities and disabilities.

A person with a disability is entitled to respect and regard. Some people with disabilities will be more vulnerable to others, because of their cognitive or intellectual impairment. Much of this chapter is directed toward the law surrounding these types of disability.

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