How to overcome a physical disability

Updated April 17, 2017

It requires a high level of physical and mental functioning to thrive in modern society. But according to the World Health Organization, an estimated 650 million people worldwide live with a disability. A disability can present additional challenges in many aspects of life, including work, travel, leisure activities and self-care. Adaptation can help people with disabilities overcome the challenges, helping millions of disabled people survive and thrive. Although achieving success is more difficult with physical limitations, you can become one of the many who have learnt to overcome a disability.

Seek out support. Get encouragement from a support group of others who deal with a similar disability. Many government agencies also work to help people with disabilities.

Request proper accommodations. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits any employer or facility from discriminating against people on the basis of disability, and reasonable accommodations must be made on your behalf. For example, employers can set up a different work station or provide additional equipment to help you perform your job more effectively. You also have the right to expect rooms and buildings to be wheelchair-accessible.

Maintain a positive, hopeful attitude. Determination is essential for success for anyone, regardless of disability status. It will be easier to maintain a positive attitude by placing more of your focus on the abilities you still have rather than on the things you cannot do.


Do not allow your disability to define you. Remember that you still have many valuable skills, and your disability is just one limitation you face, not a total definition of who you are as a person.

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About the Author

Holly Case has written professionally since 2000. She is a former contributing editor for "ePregnancy" magazine and a current editor for a natural food magazine. She has extensive experience writing about nutrition, pregnancy, infertility, alternative medicine, children's health and women's health issues. Case holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and professional writing from Saginaw Valley State University.