Health and wellness are not defined by the presence or absence of a disability. People with disabilities can be both healthy and well, and can have opportunities for employment and education just like people without disabilities. The term disability encompasses both mental and physical disabilities. Some examples of mental disabilities are depression, schizophrenia, phobias and bipolar disorder. A physical disability is a limitation of a person's physical functioning, mobility or stamina.
Steps can be taken to begin improving the health status of people with disabilities. For instance, increasing public knowledge and changing attitudes towards people with disabilities can address environmental, social and economic barriers they face and help them become full participants in the community. A healthy community consists of adequate access to shelter, income, work and health care services for all, which includes people with disabilities in addition to those without.
In addition, communities can provide training to health care workers to ensure that they treat the whole person, and not just a person’s disability. People with disabilities often have secondary conditions as well, and a thorough health assessment is required in order to identify and treat these. Healthcare providers are also responsibility for providing health and wellness promotion, in addition to treatment services.