Disability and Habilitation
Since the 1980’s the medical perspective has subsequently been replaced by a biopsychosocial perspective when defining disability. Disability is defined as the gap between facilitators and barriers in the environment and the impairment or health condition of a person. Consequently, aspects of the environment are vital for whether a person’s congenital or (early) acquired impairment entails disability or not.
People with physical, mental or cognitive impairments often experience extensive difficulties in everyday life entailing insufficient equality and participation and significant differences in living conditions compared to the general population. The environment e.g. policies, legislation and regulations, services and support has a key-role for a person’s well-being, activity and participation. Specialised services, support, counselling, and other interventions to people of all ages who experience disabilities are provided by out-patient habilitation services, municipalities and other service providers. Research in Disability and Habilitation is interdisciplinary and multi-professional with a fundamental focus on the complex interplay between the individual and his or her physical, social and societal environment. The facilitating and restraining aspects of the environment as well as the participation and perspectives of people with disabilities, professionals and significant others are highlighted in studies of living conditions, health and lifestyles, well-being, personal assistance, aided communication and parenthood.
There are two main research tracks: