[Excerpt] Impairment and disability are as old as history; they always have been and always will be with us. However, the way that societies deal with them can and does change.
In developed countries, the reality of impairment and disability is now being recognized. Consequently, efforts are now being made to include people affected by impairment and disability and to provide the services necessary to meet their needs. The recognition and inclusion of these people, and the development of services to meet their needs, means that handicap is declining in developed countries.
In many developing countries, the reality of impairment and disability is only just starting to be recognized, and people affected by impairment and disability are barely accepted. These people are excluded and the services necessary to meet their needs have yet to be developed. In these countries handicap is still a significant factor that must be dealt with.