Various terms are used interchangeably when referring to a person who is differently abled. Sometimes, he is referred to as a person with disability (PWD), and sometimes as a person with special needs.

To avoid too much confusion, we provide some information on the disability terms we use or reference to in Special Seeds.

We generally follow the disability terms used by SGenable.

Type of Disability


What is Visual Disability?

This comprises visual impairment that ranges from low vision to blindness.

What is Hearing Disability?

This comprises hearing impairment that ranges from profound to complete hearing loss.

What is Learning Disability?

A learning disability is a congenital disorder and is not acquired. One is usually diagnosed with a learning disability as a child, when his/her pace of learning is affected.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

One is usually diagnosed with ASD as an infant or child. ASD severely impairs thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others, and affects basic areas of psychological developments. ASD can present itself through different symptoms such as poor social interaction, poor verbal and nonverbal communication, repetitive behaviours or interests, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

What do Multiple Disabilities refer to?

This refers to a combination of two or more types of disabilities. For example, cerebral palsy is a condition that affects the control of movement, but is occasionally accompanied by mental impairment. A multiple disability is either congenital or acquired due to external factors such as a brain injury.

We respect individual writer's preference on how they would like themselves (if they are differently abled) or their loved ones to be identified. Hence in our content in the ezine, you may see some interchangeable use of the term disability with the term "special needs". When in doubt, just know that they reference to one and the same population who are differently abled in Singapore. We try not to be overtly fussy about this and choose to focus instead on the key messages the writers wish to convey in their contributions.

To us, persons with some form of disability be it visual, hearing, sensory or multiple disabilities that impact their daily living, have the same meaning as the term of reference "persons with special needs".

This ezine serves this special population and their caregivers.

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