Physical Disabilities

There are no spectators at life's banquet - everyone is at the table, no one is excluded.

President Mary McAleese speaking at Enable Ireland Cork Services on 16 July 2004, taken from Enable Ireland Newsletter Autumn 2004


Students may have physical disabilities arising from conditions such as congenital deformities, spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, brittle bones, haemophilia, cystic fibrosis or severe accidental injury. It is important to state that there is no necessary direct correlation between the degree of physical disability and the inability to cope with the school curriculum, apart from the elements involving physical activity. Students with severe physical disability may have minimal special educational needs, while those with minimal physical disability may have serious learning needs. Physical access can be a major concern for students who have physical disabilities as those who use wheelchairs, braces, crutches, rolators, canes or prostheses, or those who fatigue easily may have difficulty moving around a school campus.

The SESS is aware that the range of physical disabilities is wide, and a selection is presented in this publication.

It is to be noted that there is some repetition in this section with regard to tips for learning and teaching and the additional references and resources. Such repetitiPhoto of boy sitting beside walking aidson is unavoidable owing to the shared experiences of students with a range of physical disabilities.

Physical Disability Fact-Sheets

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