Glossary Term


Factors or obstacles in a person’s environment that hamper their participation on an equal basis with others. They limit a person with disabilities' access to and inclusion in society. These barriers can take various forms, such as physical, communication, attitudinal, systemic, institutional, or environmental. If they are put in place intentionally, they may be classified as a threat, but if their occurrence is inadvertent, they may be described as a vulnerability. Barriers lead to exclusion in both cases and make it likely that persons with disabilities will face more or worse threats and be more vulnerable than others affected by a crisis.