Join Maria Matzik, a proud disabled woman, and education and advocacy specialist at the Access Center for Independent Living in Dayton, Ohio.
Disability is a natural part of the human experience. Disability can occur at any point in life and range from mild to severe. The World Health Organization recognizes that what defines individuals with disabilities, their abilities and their health outcomes more often depends on their community, including social and environmental circumstances.
What makes someone “disabled” is not their medical condition, but the attitudes and structures of society. People with disabilities have less access to health care services, for a variety of reasons, and therefore experience unmet health care needs. A diagnosis of a disability should not define us, our talents and abilities, or health behaviors and health status.
People with disabilities are a diverse group who share the experience of living with significant limitations in functioning and, as a result, often experience exclusion from full participation in their communities.