You are classed as disabled if you have a physical or mental impairment which causes a long term adverse effect in carrying out normal day to day activities. Normal day to day activities are such things as being able to feed yourself, take care of your personal hygiene, being able to shop for yourself and walking.
Usually the period classed as long term is at least 12 months but there are no hard and fast rules regarding this. It is classed as a substantial adverse effect when your abilities are limited in more than just minor ways and your inability will go towards deciding if you are classed as disabled or not by law.
Disability : Day to day activities
The disability discrimination act covers eight different kinds of ability, if one or more of theses are affected by your disability then your ability to carry out everyday activities is said to be affected.
* Your ability to move around.
* The use of your hands often called dexterity.
* Your physical co-ordination.
* Having full control of your bodily functions.
* Having the ability to carry, move and lift everyday objects.
* Your hearing, eyesight and speech.
* Your concentration and your ability to understand.
* Your awareness of physical danger.
Special cases taken into consideration
In some people their impairment comes and goes, most of the time you are only classed by law as disabled if the adverse effects are more likely to return in the future. People being diagnosed as having cancer, HIV or multiple sclerosis are classed as disabled from the time they contract the disease whether or not it causes an adverse effect at the time.
Any condition you have that is likely to worsen over a period of time is covered by the disability act from the moment the illness or condition begins to have adverse effects on day to day activities. Examples of this are if you suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or muscular dystrophy.
You are also protected under this act if you use any kind of aid in day to day living such as an artificial limb or medication taken on a daily basis to control epilepsy.
The law does not cover for example people who wear glasses or contact lenses, those suffering from illnesses such as hay fever and other allergies and people who are affected by addiction to alcohol, nicotine or drugs that were not prescribed.