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What is Considered a Disability?

This is our page dedicated to two of our most frequently asked questions, “What is considered a disability?” and “Am I qualified to participate in the Perceptions contest?”

We hope this eases any concerns you may have for our upcoming contest, though we would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have through our email ( or Instagram account!

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), what is the definition of a disability?

As defined by the ADA, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities. This includes sensory, physical, cognitive, learning, socio-emotional disabilities and more.

What other ways can disability be defined? Under the Perceptions contest guidelines, what is considered a disability?

In many ways, the definition and concept of disability are limitless. Disability is part of the human experience. Therefore, the Perceptions contest guidelines recognize that everyone’s experience with disability is unique, whether…

- [ ] cognitive or learning, relating to mind

- [ ] physical, relating to body and/or chronic disease

- [ ] sensory, relating to hearing, sight, or other sensory experiences

- [ ] socio-emotional and mental health

- [ ] a rare disease or unspecified diagnosis

You might use assistive technology, a service animal, a personal care assistant or other tool or way to assist with your daily routine.

Each of us has our own way of approaching accessibility, and through this contest and the arts, we hope to come together as a community to cultivate awareness (about our experiences, such as those with accessibility) and change. Perceptions aims to foster these beliefs and embrace diverse experiences*. Perceptions is the disability art hub.

In a nutshell, our community includes people with both visible and invisible disabilities, including those who identify as neurodivergent, or have a chronic illness or rare disease. Any person with a disability (between the ages of 12-26) is encouraged to submit to our upcoming writing, music, and art contest!

*We strive to uplift marginalized voices through our contests and events, acknowledging that the disability experience is deeply interconnected with other identities as well. We greatly value diversity, including, but not limiting to, diversity of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender and sexuality identity, and ability.


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