Physical Disability

Physical Disability

A physical disability is one that affects the person’s mobility and/or dexterity.

Examples of physical disability include:

  • amputation
  • arthritis
  • cerebral palsy
  • upper limbs
  • multiple-sclerosis
  • muscular dystrophy
  • acquired spinal injury (paraplegia or quadriplegia)
  • post-polio syndrome
  • spina bifida

There are many different kinds of disability and a wide variety of situations which people experience.

Each person will have different causes, symptoms and management strategies making it difficult to generalise physical disabilities.

A physical disability may have existed since birth or it could be the result of an accident, illness, infection, disease, degeneration, medical condition or the result of congenital factors.

A person with a physical disability may require some assistance or the use of some sort of equipment to aid with mobility.


  • People with mobility impairment rely on effective signage that is up to date and consistent in both style and placement.
  • Provide clear and frequent signage to direct people around the building and to decrease the need for assistance.
  • For people who use a wheelchair it is like a part of the person’s body; do not lean or hang on to the chair.
  • Offer assistance if it appears necessary, but do not assume a person with a disability will require or accept it.
  • Make sure that there is a clear pathway for a person in a wheelchair and do not leave articles such as chairs or boxes in areas that may block access.

Communication Strategies

  • When communicating with a person with a physical disability it is important to acknowledge that each person is an individual and should be approached as such.
  • Meet in a setting that is comfortable and does not cause anxiety or distraction.
  • Ask the person about the most appropriate way of communicating with them.
  • Do not assume that people with a physical disability cannot comprehend because of physical appearance.
  • Speak directly to the person and not with someone who maybe assisting them.
  • DON’T SHOUT. Speak in a tone appropriate to the setting.
  • Make eye contact.
  • Use an appropriate volume and tone in your voice.
  • Where possible, position yourself at the same level as the person.
  • Make sure the person has understood you. If necessary write the information down.
  • Check with the person about use of adaptive technology to aid with communication.



Facebook Feed

Latest News

  • New ‘Style Me Wild’ Workshop

    23 April, 2018

    New ‘Style Me Wild’ Workshop

    Are you looking for a job or are new to the workplace? Not sure how to present yourself or how your employer expects you to look? Then our Style Me Wild personal presentation workshop is for you! Click here for more information on the Style Me Wild Workshop.

    Read more

  • The Mentor Program is back!

    22 March, 2018

    The Mentor Program is back!

    #NationalVolunteerWeek is coming up soon, and what better way to celebrate our volunteers than to become one! IMVC is looking for industry experienced #Mentors to assist marginalised youth in our #MentorProgram. Please see flyers for more information on how to apply: VCAL Mentor Program / Application Form River Nile Mentor Program / Application Form

    Read more