Intellectual disability applies to conditions appearing in the developmental period (age 0-18) associated with impairment of mental functions, difficulties in learning and performing certain daily life skills and limitation of adaptive skills in the context of community environments compared to others of the same age. Includes Down’s syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, cri-du-chat syndrome etc.
CODE 2 Specific learning
Learning disability is a general term referring to a group of disorders, presumed due to central nervous system dysfunction rather than an intellectual disability, covering significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking, reading, writing, reasoning or mathematical skills.
CODE 3 Autism
Autism is used to describe pervasive developmental disorders involving disturbances in cognition, interpersonal communication, social interactions and behaviour (in particular obsessional, ritualistic, stereotyped and rigid behaviours).
CODE 4 Physical
Physical disability is used to describe conditions that are attributable to a physical cause or impact on the ability to perform physical activities, such as mobility. Physical disability includes paraplegia, quadriplegia, muscular dystrophy, motor neurone disease, neuromuscular disorders, cerebral palsy, absence or deformities of limbs, spina bifida, arthritis, back disorders, ataxia, bone formation or degeneration, scoliosis etc. Impairments may affect internal organs such as lung or liver.
CODE 5 Acquired brain injury
Acquired brain injury is used to describe multiple disabilities arising from damage to the brain acquired after birth. It results in deterioration in cognitive, physical, emotional or independent functioning. It can be as a result of accidents, stroke, brain tumours, infection, poisoning, lack of oxygen, degenerative neurological disease etc.
CODE 6 Neurological
Neurological disability applies to impairments of the nervous system occurring after birth and includes epilepsy and organic dementias (eg. Alzheimer’s disease) as well as such conditions as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.
CODE 7 Deafblind
Deaf blind is used to describe dual sensory impairments causing severe restrictions in communication, and in the ability to participate in community life.
CODE 8 Vision
Vision disability encompasses blindness, vision impairment (not corrected by glasses or contact lenses).
Speech disability encompasses speech loss, impairment and/or difficulty in communication.
CODE 11 Psychiatric
Psychiatric disability includes recognisable symptoms and behaviour patterns associated with distress that may impair personal functioning in normal social activity. Conditions such as schizophrenia, affective disorders, anxiety disorders, addictive behaviours, personality disorders, stress, psychosis, depression and adjustment disorders are included.
CODE 12 Developmental delay
Developmental delay is applicable to children aged 0-5 only. Conditions appearing in the early developmental period, with no specific diagnosis. Developmental delay maps into the intellectual/learning category of the International disability grouping.
Data element attributes
Collection and usage attributes
Guide for use:
This data element is collected twice:
the primary disability group which can be considered as the disability group causing the most difficulty to the person (overall difficulty in daily life, not just within the context of the support offered by the service); and
the disability group(s) (other than that indicated as being 'primary') that also clearly expresses the experience of disability by a person and/or the cause of difficulty for the person.
While only one option may be chosen for the primary disability group, multiple options may be chosen for other disability group(s) making sure they are different to the option chosen for the primary group. For example, a person with a primary disability group of acquired brain injury (code 5), who also requires support in aspects of their life due to a speech disability and a psychiatric disability, should be ticked for code 10 (speech) and code 11 (psychiatric). Code 5 should not be ticked in this example, since acquired brain injury would already have been reported under the data element Primary disability group.
This data element should ideally reflect the views of both the service user and the funded agency. If there is a difference, the funded agency's assessment should be recorded. (If the Primary disability group cannot easily be chosen, then define primary disability as the person’s disability to which the service caters.)