Disabilities can come in many different forms some plainly obvious and others not so. The concept of a person suffering from, or having, a disability is fairly new. Up until the mid part of the 20 th century there was not a clear recognition of what was a disability.
Any individual that failed in normal society was qualified as having some sort of problem. Having a disability was looked down upon to the degree the person was viewed as being inferior.
Today disabilities are referred to be a specific diagnosis that fits the presenting problems. Being able to look at a disability as a specific affliction that others have suffered from creates academic and medical research opportunities. Now a person who has a disability can be guided by trained professionals on how best to live a full life with as few limitations as possible.
Society has also changed with this improved understanding. Accommodations are now regularly made in such was as handicapped parking and wheelchair accessible buildings being mandated.