More than 13 percent of noninstitutionalized adults have some sort of physical disability. The most common physical disabilities are trouble hearing, moving around or doing day-to-day tasks like getting dressed. About 70 percent of noninstitutionalized adults with physical disabilities are over age 60.
Another type of disability is learning disability, a term used to describe a range of academic difficulties. Dyslexia, a reading disability, is one example.
Psychologists can help individuals with all kinds of disabilities. While some interventions focus on teaching stress management and other coping skills, others focus on the disability itself. A psychologist might help an individual get motivated enough to do physical therapy, for example.
Adapted from the Encyclopedia of Psychology
What You Can Do
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APA Offices and Programs
- Disability Issues Office
Learn what APA does to work toward eliminating bias against and promoting equal opportunity for people with disabilities.
- Disability Mentoring Program
This mentorship program supports psychology students with disabilities, psychologists with disabilities entering the field and those who develop a disability later on.