Physical disability


Generally speaking a physical disability is identified as a disability associated with a physical impairment. That is, total or partial loss of a part of the body or bodily functions, or the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the body.

Some people are born with physical disabilities, while other physical disabilities are caused by illness, injury or accident.

It is important to be aware that some physical disabilities may not always be visible and will not always impact a student’s capacity to learn.


Physical disability includes a broad range of impairments such as:

  • Allergies
  • Amputee
  • Back Pain
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Diastrophic Dysplagia (dwarfism)
  • Dysgraphia/Fine Motor Difficulty
  • Injury to shoulder/arm/wrist/hand/knee/ankle/foot etc
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Osteogenisis Imperfecta (brittle bones)
  • Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
  • Paraplegia
  • Quadriplegia
  • Scoliosis
  • Spina Bifida

Fact sheets


  • HealthInsite (an Australian Government initiative providing up-to-date and reliable information on a range of health conditions)
  • JobAccess (a comprehensive list of information about disability, including physical disability)

Additional support