Lithuania the Republic of Lithuania, is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. Lithuania is considered to be one of the Baltic states, it is situated to the east of Sweden and Denmark. It is bordered by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Lithuania has an estimated population of 2.8 million people as of 2019, its capital and largest city is Vilnius. Other major cities are Klaipėda. Lithuanians are Baltic people; the official language, along with Latvian, is one of only two living languages in the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family. For centuries, the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, the Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, the first unified Lithuanian state, the Kingdom of Lithuania, was created on 6 July 1253. During the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state personal union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighbouring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory. As World War I neared its end, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the founding of the modern Republic of Lithuania. In the midst of the Second World War, Lithuania was first occupied by the Soviet Union and by Nazi Germany; as World War II neared its end and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania became the first Baltic state to declare itself independent, resulting in the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania. Lithuania is a developed country, it is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD. It is a member of the Nordic Investment Bank, part of Nordic-Baltic cooperation of Northern European countries; the United Nations Human Development Index lists Lithuania as a "very high human development" country.
The first known record of the name of Lithuania is in a 9 March 1009 story of Saint Bruno in the Quedlinburg Chronicle. The Chronicle recorded a Latinized form of the name Lietuva: Litua. Due to the lack of reliable evidence, the true meaning of the name is unknown. Nowadays, scholars still debate the meaning of the word and there are a few plausible versions. Since Lietuva has a suffix, the original word should have no suffix. A candidate is Lietā; because many Baltic ethnonyms originated from hydronyms, linguists have searched for its origin among local hydronyms. Such names evolved through the following process: hydronym → toponym → ethnonym. Lietava, a small river not far from Kernavė, the core area of the early Lithuanian state and a possible first capital of the eventual Grand Duchy of Lithuania, is credited as the source of the name. However, the river is small and some find it improbable that such a small and local object could have lent its name to an entire nation. On the other hand, such a naming is not unprecedented in world history.
Artūras Dubonis proposed another hypothesis. From the middle of the 13th century, leičiai were a distinct warrior social group of the Lithuanian society subordinate to the Lithuanian ruler or the state itself; the word leičiai is used in the 14–16th-century historical sources as an ethnonym for Lithuanians and is still used poetically or in historical contexts, in the Latvian language, related to Lithuanian. The first people settled in the territory of Lithuania after the last glacial period in the 10th millennium BC: Kunda and Narva cultures, they did not form stable settlements. In the 8th millennium BC, the climate became much warmer, forests developed; the inhabitants of what is now Lithuania traveled less and engaged in local hunting and fresh-water fishing. Agriculture did not emerge until the 3rd millennium BC due to a harsh climate and terrain and a lack of suitable tools to cultivate the land. Crafts and trade started to form at this time. Over a millennium, the Indo-Europeans, who arrived in the 3rd – 2nd millennium BC, mixed with the local population and formed various Baltic tribes.
The Baltic tribes did not maintain close cultural or political contacts with the Roman Empire, but they did maintain trade contacts. Tacitus, in his study Germania, described the Aesti people, inhabitants of the south-eastern Baltic Sea shores who were Balts, around the year 97 AD; the Western Balts became known to outside chroniclers first. Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD knew of the Galindians and Yotvingians, early medieval chroniclers mentioned Old Prussians and Semigallians; the Lithuanian language is considered to be conservative for its close connection to Indo-European roots. It is believed to have differentiated from the Latvian language, the most related existing language, around the 7th century. Traditional Lithuanian pagan customs and mythology, with many archaic elements, were long preserved. Rulers' bodies were cremated up until the conversion to Christianity: the descriptions of the cremation ceremonies of the grand d
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
An athlete is a person who competes in one or more sports that involve physical strength, speed or endurance. The application of the term to those who participate in other activities, such as horse riding or driving, is somewhat controversial. Athletes may be amateurs. Most professional athletes have well-developed physiques obtained by extensive physical training and strict exercise accompanied by a strict dietary regimen; the word "athlete" is a romanization of the Greek: άθλητὴς, athlētēs, one who participates in a contest. The primary definition of "sportsman" according to Webster's Third Unabridged Dictionary is, "a person, active in sports: as: one who engages in the sports of the field and in hunting or fishing." Athletes involved in isotonic exercises have an increased mean left ventricular end-diastolic volume and are less to be depressed. Due to their strenuous physical activities, athletes are far more than the general population to visit massage salons and pay for services from massotherapists and masseurs.
Athletes whose sport espouses endurance more than strength have a lower calorie intake than other athletes. An "all-around athlete" is a person. Examples of people who played more than one sport professionally include Jim Thorpe, Lionel Conacher, Deion Sanders, Danny Ainge, Babe Zaharias and Erin Phillips. Others include Ricky Williams, Bo Jackson, Damon Allen, each of whom was drafted both by Major League Baseball and by professional gridiron football leagues such as the NFL and the CFL. Another female example is Heather Moyse, a multiple Winter Olympic gold medalist in bobsled and member of the World Rugby Hall of Fame who represented Canada internationally in track cycling and competed at university level in basketball and track and field. Japanese athletes such as Kazushi Sakuraba, Kazuyuki Fujita, Masakatsu Funaki and Naoya Ogawa have performed in professional wrestling and competed in mixed martial arts; the title of "World's Greatest Athlete" traditionally belongs to the world's top competitor in the decathlon and heptathlon in track and field.
The decathlon consists of 10 events: 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, 110 m hurdles, pole vault, 1500 m. The heptathlon consists of seven events: the 100 m hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meters, long jump, 800 meters; these competitions require an athlete to possess the whole spectrum of athletic ability in order to be successful including speed, coordination, jumping ability, endurance. Although the title "World's Greatest Athlete" seems a natural fit for these two events, its traditional association with the decathlon/heptathlon began with Jim Thorpe. During the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Thorpe won the gold medal in the Decathlon. Thorpe notably competed professionally in soccer, American Football, basketball. King Gustav V of Sweden, while awarding Thorpe the decathlon gold said: "You, are the greatest athlete in the world." That title has become associated with the decathlon event since. Sportswear Outdoor enthusiast Jock Athlete of the Year Women's sports
Greece the Hellenic Republic, self-identified and known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of 11 million as of 2016. Athens is largest city, followed by Thessaloniki. Greece is located at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, Turkey to the northeast; the Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres; the country consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Epirus, the Aegean Islands, Thrace and the Ionian Islands.
Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilisation, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, Western drama and notably the Olympic Games. From the eighth century BC, the Greeks were organised into various independent city-states, known as poleis, which spanned the entire Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip of Macedon united most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century BC, with his son Alexander the Great conquering much of the ancient world, from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire, in which Greek language and culture were dominant. Rooted in the first century A. D. the Greek Orthodox Church helped shape modern Greek identity and transmitted Greek traditions to the wider Orthodox World. Falling under Ottoman dominion in the mid-15th century, the modern nation state of Greece emerged in 1830 following a war of independence.
Greece's rich historical legacy is reflected by its 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The sovereign state of Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic and developed country with an advanced high-income economy, a high quality of life, a high standard of living. A founding member of the United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities and has been part of the Eurozone since 2001, it is a member of numerous other international institutions, including the Council of Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Greece's unique cultural heritage, large tourism industry, prominent shipping sector and geostrategic importance classify it as a middle power, it is the largest economy in the Balkans. The names for the nation of Greece and the Greek people differ from the names used in other languages and cultures.
The Greek name of the country is Hellas or Ellada, its official name is the Hellenic Republic. In English, the country is called Greece, which comes from Latin Graecia and means'the land of the Greeks'; the earliest evidence of the presence of human ancestors in the southern Balkans, dated to 270,000 BC, is to be found in the Petralona cave, in the Greek province of Macedonia. All three stages of the stone age are represented for example in the Franchthi Cave. Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe. Greece is home to the first advanced civilizations in Europe and is considered the birthplace of Western civilisation, beginning with the Cycladic civilization on the islands of the Aegean Sea at around 3200 BC, the Minoan civilization in Crete, the Mycenaean civilization on the mainland; these civilizations possessed writing, the Minoans writing in an undeciphered script known as Linear A, the Mycenaeans in Linear B, an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans, but collapsed violently around 1200 BC, during a time of regional upheaval known as the Bronze Age collapse. This ushered from which written records are absent. Though the unearthed Linear B texts are too fragmentary for the reconstruction of the political landscape and can't support the existence of a larger state contemporary Hittite and Egyptian records suggest the presence of a single state under a "Great King" based in mainland Greece; the end of the Dark Ages is traditionally dated to the year of the first Olympic Games. The Iliad and the Odyssey, the foundational texts of Western literature, are believed to have been composed by Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. With the end of the Dark Ages, there emerged various kingdoms and city-states across the Greek peninsula, which spread to the shores of the Black Sea, So
Lance Collin Allred is the first legally-deaf player in NBA history, international inspirational speaker, author and TEDx star of "What is Your Polygamy?" He is a Mexican American former professional basketball player. Allred is deaf, with 75–80% hearing loss, he is the first deaf player in National Basketball Association history. To improve his hearing, he wears a hearing aid, his autobiography, Longshot: The Adventures of a Deaf Fundamentalist Mormon Kid and His Journey to the NBA, was published by Harper Collins. Allred was born in a fundamentalist Mormon Polygamist Commune, he is the grandson of Rulon C. Allred, a prophet of the Apostolic United Brethren, a fundamentalist polygamous sect. Rulon was born in Colonia Dublán, Mexico, which allowed Allred to receive Mexican citizenship. However, Allred's family became disenchanted with the group, they moved to Salt Lake City when he was seven, broke away from the church six years later. He did not play organized basketball until eighth grade, when he joined a team in the local LDS Church league.
Allred's skills developed and with his tremendous height, he was a star basketball player at East High School in Salt Lake City. During his senior year, he averaged 17.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.7 blocks per game, earning many prestigious honors for his performance. He was named 1999 Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Utah, earned First Team All-State selection in Class 4A by both The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News. Allred was ranked as the "Best in the West" at the center position by Pac-West Hoops, was hailed as a Top 100 Recruit by CNN/Sports Illustrated, he was recruited by many schools, but decided to attend the University of Utah. Allred saw limited action as a freshman at Utah, he played in just 17 games, averaging 1.8 rebounds in only 5.6 minutes per game. The following season, his playing time increased but he continued to struggle. At the end of his sophomore year, he transferred to Weber State University in Utah. After transferring, Allred accused Utah coach Rick Majerus of constant verbal abuse focused on Allred's deafness.
Allred told The Salt Lake Tribune that Majerus had once said: "Lance, you've weaseled yourself through life using your hearing as an excuse. You're a disgrace to cripples. If I was a cripple in a wheelchair and saw you play basketball, I'd shoot myself." Two other Utah players confirmed some of what Allred claimed, but two assistant coaches said they never heard it. Majerus denied the allegations while describing the statements as "extremely insensitive." An investigation concluded. Allred found new motivation at Weber State. With increased playing time as a junior, he averaged 11.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game for the Wildcats. He worked hard in the offseason, building enough muscle to increase his weight from 240 pounds to about 270, his senior year was spectacular: he led his team with 17.7 points and 12.0 rebounds per game. He ranked third in the nation in trailing only Paul Millsap and Andrew Bogut, he single-handedly carried Weber State to the championship game of the Big Sky Conference Tournament.
For his efforts, he was named First Team All-Big Sky and First Team All-Utah by the Deseret News. Allred began his professional career as an injury replacement for the French LNB club SPO Rouen Basket, he averaged 3.9 rebounds in 11 games played. In January 2006, Allred was an injury replacement for JL Bourg Basket. In four games he averaged 1.5 rebounds. Allred played for Club Bàsquet Llíria of the Spanish LEB2 league, averaging 15.0 points and 7.2 rebounds in 10 games. In 43 games with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA D-League, Allred averaged 10.1 points on.524 shooting, 5.7 rebounds in 20.9 minutes per game. In 38 games with the Idaho Stampede, Allred averaged 16.2 points on 51.2% shooting, 10.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 29.6 minutes per game. He was named to the 2008 D-League's Red All-Star Team and was the winner of the D-League's Dream Factory Friday night inaugural game of H. O. R. S. E, he won the game with expert use of the back board and claimed the first official H. O. R. S. E. Title awarded in about 30 years.
On March 13, 2008, the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers signed Allred to a ten-day contract. Allred missed his only field goal attempt during 18 seconds of action in his debut for the Cavaliers on March 17, 2008. Allred is the first deaf player in NBA history. On March 25, 2008, the Cavaliers signed Allred to a second ten-day contract. On April 4, Allred was signed for the remainder of the 2007–08 season. After entering training camp with the Cavaliers for the 2008–09 season, he was released after playing in the preseason debut against the Toronto Raptors, where he made 1 rebound and blocked 1 shot in 4 minutes and 10 seconds of play. Allred began the regular season with a return to the Idaho Stampede. Allred signed with Italian NSB Napoli during the summer of 2009. In October he signed a 60-day contract with Scavolini Pesaro. In January 2010, he returned to Idaho to play the remainder of the season with the Idaho Stampede. In 2011, Allred played for the New Zealander Otago Nuggets of the National Basketball League.
He signed with Kyoto Hannaryz, in Japan for the 2011–12 season. In 2012, Allred signed with Fuerza Regia of Mexico. Allred joined the Mexico national team for Caribbean Games. After his final season in Puerto Rico, with Leones de Ponce, Allred
Slovenia the Republic of Slovenia, is a sovereign state located in southern Central Europe at a crossroads of important European cultural and trade routes. It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the southeast, the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, it has a population of 2.07 million. One of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia is a parliamentary republic and a member of the United Nations, of the European Union, of NATO; the capital and largest city is Ljubljana. Slovenia has a mountainous terrain with a continental climate, with the exception of the Slovene Littoral, which has a sub-Mediterranean climate, of the northwest, which has an Alpine climate. Additionally, the Dinaric Alps and the Pannonian Plain meet on the territory of Slovenia; the country, marked by a significant biological diversity, is one of the most water-rich in Europe, with a dense river network, a rich aquifer system, significant karst underground watercourses.
Over half of the territory is covered by forest. The human settlement of Slovenia is uneven. Slovenia has been the crossroads of Slavic and Romance languages and cultures. Although the population is not homogeneous, Slovenes comprise the majority; the South Slavic language Slovene is the official language throughout the country. Slovenia is a secularized country, but Catholicism and Lutheranism have influenced its culture and identity; the economy of Slovenia is small and export-oriented and has been influenced by international conditions. It has been hurt by the Eurozone crisis which started in 2009; the main economic field is services, followed by construction. The current territory of Slovenia has formed part of many different states, including the Roman Empire, Byzantine Empire, Carolingian Empire and the Holy Roman Empire, the Habsburg Monarchy, the Republic of Venice, the French-administered Illyrian Provinces of Napoleon I, the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary. In October 1918 the Slovenes exercised self-determination for the first time by co-founding the State of Slovenes and Serbs.
In December 1918 they merged with the Kingdom of Serbia into the Kingdom of Serbs and Slovenes. During World War II Germany and Hungary occupied and annexed Slovenia, with a tiny area transferred to the Independent State of Croatia, a Nazi puppet state. In 1945 Slovenia became a founding member of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, renamed in 1963 as the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the first years after World War II this state was allied with the Eastern Bloc, but it never subscribed to the Warsaw Pact and in 1961 became one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement. In June 1991, after the introduction of multi-party representative democracy, Slovenia became the first republic that split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country. In 2004, it entered the European Union. Slovenia's name means the "Land of the Slavs" in Slovene and other South Slavic languages; the etymology of Slav itself remains uncertain. The reconstructed autonym *Slověninъ is derived from the word slovo denoting "people who speak," i. e. people who understand each other.
This is in contrast to the Slavic word denoting German people, namely *němьcь, meaning "silent, mute people". The word slovo and the related slava and slukh originate from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱlew-, cognate with Ancient Greek κλέος, as in the name Pericles, Latin clueo, English loud; the modern Slovene state originates from the Slovene National Liberation Committee held on 19 February 1944. They named the state as Federal Slovenia, a unit within the Yugoslav federation. On 20 February 1946, Federal Slovenia was renamed the People's Republic of Slovenia, it retained this name until 9 April 1963, when its name was changed again, this time to Socialist Republic of Slovenia. On 8 March 1990, SR Slovenia removed the prefix "Socialist" from its name, becoming the Republic of Slovenia. Present-day Slovenia has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There is evidence of human habitation from around 250,000 years ago. A pierced cave bear bone, dating from 43100 ± 700 BP, found in 1995 in Divje Babe cave near Cerkno, is considered a kind of flute, the oldest musical instrument discovered in the world.
In the 1920s and 1930s, artifacts belonging to the Cro-Magnon, such as pierced bones, bone points, a needle were found by archaeologist Srečko Brodar in Potok Cave. In 2002, remains of pile dwellings over 4,500 years old were discovered in the Ljubljana Marshes, now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the Ljubljana Marshes Wooden Wheel, the oldest wooden wheel in the world, it shows that wooden wheels appeared simultaneously in Mesopotamia and Europe. In the transition period between the Bronze age to the Iron age, the Urnfield culture flourished. Archaeological remains dating from the Hallstatt period have been found in southeastern Slovenia, among them a number of situl
According to many definitions, a disability is an impairment that may be cognitive, intellectual, physical, sensory, or some combination of these. Other definitions describe disability as the societal disadvantage arising from such impairments. Disability affects a person's life activities and may be present from birth or occur during a person's lifetime. Disabilities is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, participation restrictions. An impairment is a problem in body structure. Disability is thus not just a health problem, it is a complex phenomenon, reflecting the interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. Disability is a contested concept, with different meanings in different communities, it may be used to refer to physical or mental attributes that some institutions medicine, view as needing to be fixed. It may refer to limitations imposed on people by the constraints of an ableist society. Or the term may serve to refer to the identity of disabled people.
Physiological functional capacity is a related term that describes an individual's performance level. It gauges one's ability to perform the physical tasks of daily life and the ease with which these tasks are performed. PFC declines with advancing age to result in frailty, cognitive disorders or physical disorders, all of which may lead to labeling individuals as disabled; the discussion over disability's definition arose out of disability activism in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1970s, which challenged how the medical concept of disability dominated perception and discourse about disabilities. Debates about proper terminology and their implied politics continue in disability communities and the academic field of disability studies. In some countries, the law requires that disabilities are documented by a healthcare provider in order to assess qualifications for disability benefits. For the purposes of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations provide a list of conditions that should be concluded to be disabilities: deafness, blindness, an intellectual disability or missing limbs or mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair, cancer, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia.
Contemporary understandings of disability derive from concepts that arose during the West's scientific Enlightenment. During the Middle Ages and other conditions were thought to be caused by demons, they were thought to be part of the natural order during and in the fallout of the Plague, which wrought impairments throughout the general population. In the early modern period there was a shift to seeking biological causes for physical and mental differences, as well as heightened interest in demarcating categories: for example, Ambroise Pare, in the sixteenth century, wrote of "monsters", "prodigies", "the maimed"; the European Enlightenment's emphases on knowledge derived from reason and on the value of natural science to human progress helped spawn the birth of institutions and associated knowledge systems that observed and categorized human beings. Contemporary concepts of disability are rooted in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century developments. Foremost among these was the development of clinical medical discourse, which made the human body visible as a thing to be manipulated and transformed.
These worked in tandem with scientific discourses that sought to classify and categorize and, in so doing, became methods of normalization. The concept of the "norm" developed in this time period, is signaled in the work of the Belgian statistician, sociologist and astronomer Adolphe Quetelet, who wrote in the 1830s of l'homme moyen – the average man. Quetelet postulated that one could take the sum of all people's attributes in a given population and find their average, that this figure should serve as a norm toward which all should aspire; this idea of a statistical norm threads through the rapid take up of statistics gathering by Britain, United States, the Western European states during this time period, it is tied to the rise of eugenics. Disability, as well as other concepts including: abnormal, non-normal, normalcy came from this; the circulation of these concepts is evident in the popularity of the freak show, where showmen profited from exhibiting people who deviated from those norms.
With the rise of eugenics in the latter part of the nineteenth century, such deviations were viewed as dangerous to the health of entire populations. With disability viewed as part of a person's biological make-up and thus their genetic inheritance, scientists turned their attention to notions of weeding such "deviations" out of the gene pool. Various metrics for assessing a person's genetic fitness, which were used to deport, sterilize, or institutionalize those deemed unfit. At the end of the Second World War, with the example of Nazi eugenics, eugenics faded from public discourse, d