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This resource is especially helpful for those enrolled in ALH1PAL, as well as those studying subjects that relate to disability and function.

  • Find links to resources specific to the ICF by WHO as well as links to resources created by government and professional bodies.
  • There are also a couple of short quizzes for you to complete that will help you to reflect on your own thinking about 'disability' and where there might be gaps in your knowledge about the ICF.

International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)

  • ". . . a framework and classifications that provide a unified and standard language by which people can describe health, and health related states. It was agreed by the World Health Assembly in 2001." (Sykes, 2006)
  • "ICF offers an international, scientific tool for the paradigm shift from the purely medical model to an integrated biopsychosocial model of human functioning and disability. It is a valuable tool in research into disability, in all its dimensions - impairments at the body and body part level, person level activity limitations, and societal level restrictions of participation. ICF also provides the conceptual model and classification required for instruments to assess the social and built environment."   

World Health Organisation (WHO)

World Health Organization flag

World Health Organization headquarters & flag by Eric Bridiers / CC BY-ND 2.0

"WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends." (

United Nations

" . . . an international organization founded in 1945.  It is currently made up of 193 Member States.  The mission and work of the United Nations are guided by the purposes and principles contained in its founding Charter.

Due to the powers vested in its Charter and its unique international character, the United Nations can take action on the issues confronting humanity in the 21st century, such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more." (