Historical perspective and classification of disability.

Adesina MA¹,²,³*, Olufadewa II1,2,4, Oladele RI1,2, Oduguwa IO¹,², Abudu FR2,5
1College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
2Slum and Rural Health Initiative Research Academy, Ibadan, Nigeria.
3Universal Care for Africa Foundation, St Louis, USA.
4Pan African University of Life and Earth Sciences Institute (PAULESI), Ibadan, Nigeria.
5College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
*Correspondence: Miracle Ayomikun Adesina; +234 703 036 9940; mayadesina@gmail.com

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This paper explores the literature on historical perspective and classification of disability. Studies showed that disability has long existed before the evolution of Homo sapiens. It was found that the public perception of disability was attributed to religious beliefs and societal beliefs which influenced the management of people with disabilities till present. However, this perception took a positive turn after prominent individuals had disabilities and scientific methods emerged during the Middle Ages. Despite this increased scientific knowledge, disability was still largely perceived to be a result of incest which led to the sterilization and discrimination of people with disabilities. In response to this, advocacy groups were developed to identify and expose structures in the environment that discriminated against the disabled population. This activism led to the creation of the International Classification of Disability and Health (ICIDH) by the World Health Organization which was later revised into the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF). Disability can be classified into physical disability, visual disability, hearing disability, mental disability, Intellectual disability, and learning disability. In conclusion, society and individuals need to do more to uphold the rights of people with disabilities.

Keywords: Disability, Historical perspective, Public perception.

Cite this article: Adesina MA, Olufadewa II, Oladele RI, Oduguwa IO, Abudu FR. Historical perspective and classification of disability. Yen Med J. 2021;3(1):17–24.


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