What is a Disability

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a disability as “any restriction or lack of the ability to perform an activity due to impairment.”

Disabilities come in different forms and their impact is measured in degrees. For example, one person with a spinal cord injury may not be able to walk, while another may be able to walk short distances with crutches or aids.

Canadians with a disability come from all areas of life, are of all ages, and have wide ranges of abilities and impairments. The most common disabilities in Canada are mobility- and agility-related (52.5 and 50.2 percent respectively). Today, more than 4.2 million Canadians, or 15 percent of the population, have a disability. Most are over 65. As our population ages, the number of Canadians with a disability will increase — some estimate that it will double over the next 25 years!