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Physical Disability
Programs and Information

Defining Physical Disability

Physical disability is defined in section 15.197 (4) (a) (2) of the Wisconsin Statutes as follows:
A physical condition, including an anatomical loss, or musculoskeletal, neurological, respiratory or cardiovascular impairment, which results from injury, disease or congenital disorder and which significantly interferes with or significantly limits at least one major life activity of a person.

The phrase major life activity is defined in subsection (4) (a) (1) of the same statute. The definition includes: 
Self-care, performance of manual tasks unrelated to gainful employment, walking, receptive and expressive language, breathing, working, participating in educational programs, mobility other than walking, and capacity for independent living.

The definitions cited above were established in 1990 as part of the statute that created the state Council on Physical Disabilities. This definition may be interpreted to include, but not be limited to persons with: 
Amputation, cancer, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, lung disease, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, muscular dystrophy, polio, spina- bifida, spinal cord injury and disease.

Last Revised: January 30, 2014