The difference between impairment, disability, and handicap

What is the difference between impairment, disability, and handicap? In exploring Psychology of Exceptionality people often tend to confuse these three terms. I wish to briefly describe them for you.

Impairment: Any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function.

Disability: An inability or a reduced capacity to perform a task in a specific way.

HandicapThe impact or consequence of a disability, not the condition itself. In other words, the result of the disability’s severity.

An impairment is the abnormality itself, and a disability is the restriction that is caused by the abnormality. A handicap is the manner in which the impairment restricts the normal functioning of an individual. However, someone who has a disability doesn’t necessarily mean they’re handicapped. “Disability describes the mental or physical limitation a person has, and handicap refers to the disadvantage she experiences because of it.”


Could you tell the difference? Tell us in the comment section below if it now makes sense.

Courtesy of 7cup

4 thoughts on “The difference between impairment, disability, and handicap

Leave a Reply to color finale activation code Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *