Story: Disability and disability organisations

Causes of impairments for disabled adults and children

There are marked differences between child and adult causes of disability. For children with disabilities, most impairments were present at birth. For adults, disease and illness was the main cause of impairment, followed by accident and injury.

An impairment is the term for the actual condition that someone has. Disabled people can have multiple impairments and these may have more than one cause, which is why the percentages on this graph add up to more than 100%.

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How to cite this page:

Martin Sullivan, 'Disability and disability organisations - Patterns of disability', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 May 2024)

Story by Martin Sullivan, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 12 Jul 2018