An Overview of Different Types of Disabilities

An Overview of Different Types of Disabilities 

This course provides an overview of the different types of disabilities you are likely to see as a direct support professional, or DSP. You will learn about different types of disabilities, their causes, and common features. You will also learn about basic supports for people with disabilities. The goal of this educational program is to provide direct support professionals with an overview of types of disabilities.


Hours: 1.75


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals

1.75 HOURS

This activity is approved for 1.75 contact hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-IDD-0-ODTD
Hours: 1.75
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 2/28/2026
Learning Objectives:
Define the terms disability, developmental disability, and intellectual disability.
Identify common causes of disabilities.
List key features and support needs of different disabilities.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: What is a Disability?

Defining Disability

The Impact of Disability

Common Terms

Developmental Disabilities

Intellectual Disabilities

Severity of ID

Causes of Disabilities

Genetic Causes and Syndromes

Other Causes

Living with Disability

Social Model of Disability

Supports for People with Disabilities



Section 3: Types of Disabilities

Disabilities and Impairments

Mobility Impairments

Sensory Impairment

Communication Disorders

IDD Diagnoses

Down Syndrome

Cerebral Palsy

Epilepsy and Seizure Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Brain Injuries



Section 4: Conclusion


Course Contributor



Instructor: Katy Kunst, MBA, QIDP
Katy Kunst received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Master of Business Administration from Elon University. She has 14 years of experience serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their supporters, including roles as direct support professional, program director, and training facilitator. She has created and facilitated training on topics including non-violent crisis interventions, person-centered planning, cultural competence, quality service delivery, regulatory compliance, and a variety of topics related to IDD services. Disclosure: Katy Kunst, MBA, QIDP has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.