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Athletes with neuromotor and sensory disorders (Table 35-1) have a wide range of abilities.1–7 The World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) terminology is summarized in Table 35-2.8–10

Table 35-1. Neuromotor and Sensory Disabilities
Table 35-2. WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health

The older terminology defined a handicap as a disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from impairment or a disability that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal (depending on age, sex, and social as well as cultural factors) for that individual. Americans with Disabilities Act defines a disability as an impairment that limits a major life activity; either a record of such an impairment in the preparticipation or physician's notes, or a perception by the public that an impairment limits major activity of life, are also considered as evidence of disability.11

The term, adapted sport, refers to a sport that is modified or especially designed for an athlete with disability.4,5 The athlete may either participate with others who have no disabilities (integrated settings) or only with other athletes with disabilities (segregated settings). Paralympic Games (Table 35-3) include athletes who have physical disabilities or visual impairment, whereas Special Olympics is a sports training and competition program for persons with intellectual disability (mental retardation) age 8 years and older, irrespective of their abilities.4,5,12 Athletes with other disabilities such as those with muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, chronic juvenile arthritis, osteogenesis imperfecta, ataxia, are all categorized as les austres (meaning “others”).

Table 35-3. Paralympic Games

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