Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual Designs

Ours is a time of inclusion and visibility of all people. Our global society actively seeks to dilute the stereotype around disabilities and disabled individuals (as well as about gender, age, race, culture, and lifestyle choices), and that includes the portrayal of disability issues in the media!

So if you are to create visual content on the topic of disability (or you want to ensure your existing content is up to date and respectful of the disability community) you are going to need authentic pictures of disabled persons living in today’s world. 

Luckily for you, we know exactly where you can find them!

No time to read? Then jump right in and click the “Discover” button to find awesome photos with a disability theme on Stock Photo Secrets!


Modern Disability Photography: Inclusive and Positive

Let’s first clear up a bit what we mean when we talk about “authentic” pictures of people with disabilities. 

While “disabled person” as a topic has been covered in the media, including imagery, for many years, the previous way to do it often relied on non-disabled models posing as disabled people, picture-perfect settings –that looking back you can think they were as unnatural as cringeworthy–, boxed perspectives that portrayed them in repetitive scenarios: home indoors, medical settings, etc., and finally in ways that perpetuated negative stereotypes on the matter. 

What today’s world wants to see are authentic stock photos that represent the real-life that we all know so well. We also crave for more inclusion and diversity images are at the core of this demand. 

photocase photo id 3318002 landscape > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual Designs

Copyright Goran Bogisevic /, all rights reserved

People want to see the reality of the day to day of having a disability or special needs, and positive, empowering concepts that show disabled individuals being “out there” enjoying their life and being active members of their communities. Something close to reportage photography that documents rather than its stages. 

What does this translate to in stock photography? People with real disabilities as models, performing in real everyday life situations, from buying groceries and travelling with the family to working an executive position or behind a counter.

Older man with boy riding on electric vehicle for disabled on promenade

Copyright 2020 coscaron /, all rights reserved

And the disability representation needs to be as wide as possible: a wheelchair user, handicap people, sign language speakers, people with down syndrome and other learning disabilities, cerebral palsy and physical disability in general, plus what they call “invisible disabilities” such as deafness, low vision, mental health issues and the like. The representation needs to be honest and body image positive, regardless of the subjects' specific disability and socioeconomic status.

Great non-lifestyle photos on this topic integrate elements of accessibility in everyday life settings: a wheelchair, crutches, screen readers, hearing aids… you get the idea. 

And most of all, portraits that show happiness, joy, companionship. 

The picture above that shows a young man with a prosthetic leg working on a woodwork workshop, is a perfect example of an authentic image with a disability concept. 

The core value in today's disability stories is empowerment and positivity. A disabled character, be it man, woman, or child, is a person with agency and a wide range of capacities and roles to perform. This is what disability activists have fought to make the world see, and photographers and creatives have finally caught up.

To sum it up: Real people with real disabilities in everyday life situations. Those are the kind of images of people with disabilities you need to pick, and the kind of image an artist needs to create. 

Best Sources for Positive Disability Stock Photos 

Here we compiled the stock photo agencies where you can find the most accurate and commercially valuable images of disabled persons (be it a disabled man, a disabled woman, or a disabled child) for your projects. 

Disability Images Photos > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual Designs

Disability Images – A Specialised Disability Image Library

logo > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual DesignsWith a transparent name like Disability Images, there’s little to no need to explain that this site offers, exclusively, pictures of people with disabilities. 

This specialised disability collection is full of photos that portray people living with disabilities in all kind of scenarios, and it’s carefully arranged by type of disability and general topic: Addiction, ADHD, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease or Spinal Cord Injury, are just some very specialised categories they have. 

They are the ideal disability awareness photos for all kinds of projects. 

Discover Disability Images’ collections!

Photocase Disability Photos > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual Designs

Photocase – Artsy Disability Photos

photocase logo w > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual DesignsPhotocase is a stock photo agency based in Berlin, that thrives with a highly-curated and very artistic and unique image catalogue that has a particular European vibe and includes a good selection of disability images that are perfect for visual content creation (like the ones that illustrate this article!). This makes them a great alternative to premium services like Offset, for example. 

SPS Disability Photos > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual Designs

Stock Photo Secrets – Affordable Disabled People Photos

StockPhotoSecrets Logo White > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual DesignsThe Stock Photo Secrets Shop is a service aimed at small and medium-sized businesses and provides professional stock photos at affordable prices. The library of over 6 million images includes modern disability pictures that will suit any disability awareness design you have in mind. 

Shutterstock Disability Photos > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual Designs

Shutterstock – Great Variety in Images of Disabilities

shutterstock logo new offer > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual DesignsKnown as “the stock photo giant”, Shutterstock has one of the largest image collections on the web, with 280 million files to date. In it, they include millions of authentic disability images with a marked commercial value, perfect for marketing, advertising, and more. 

iStock Disability Photos > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual Designs

iStock – Exclusive Disability Images

istock logo very small > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual DesignsA renowned name in the industry, iStock is a stock photo agency famous for hosting a large collection of exclusive photos you can’t find anywhere else but here, and they additionally have millions of budget, non-exclusive images too. Their library has lots of photos of disabled people taken with a current perspective that you can certainly make use of in your creative endeavours. 

Adobe Stock Disability Photos > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual Designs

Adobe Stock – Disability Stock Photos for Creative Cloud

adobe stock logo 1 > Find Disability Images for Inclusive Visual DesignsAdobe Stock is a stock photo service developed by Adobe, and it’s fully integrated into its Creative Cloud platform, meaning you can access its millions of images from any of Creative Cloud’s image editing apps to work seamlessly. The collection has numerous realistic disability photos to accurately represent this segment of the population in any visual design. 

Create Positive & Inclusive Visuals with Great Disability Images

 Any of the above-listed stock photo libraries are a good resource to license unique stock photos that represent disabled people and the daily events of living with a disability in an empowering, positive, and inclusive way. 

Even better, they all provide professional-quality photography that is royalty-free and totally safe to use in any professional or personal project you have in store. 

So remember: 

  • Disability Images if you want expert disability-related imagery
  • Photocase for a more artistic approach to disabled people photos
  • Stock Photo Secrets is the budget-friendly option in disability images 
  • Shutterstock has the most variety in pictures of people with disabilities 
  • iStock has exclusive images of disabled persons
  • Adobe Stock offers disability stock images that fit seamlessly if you work with Creative Cloud

Are you ready to create disability awareness visuals? We’ll love to see them!

Header image: Copyright davidpereiras /, all rights reserved

I am Content Manager, Researcher and Author in Stock Photo Press and its many stock media oriented publications. I am a passioned communicator with a love for visual imagery and an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge. I was lucky to enter the wonderful world of stock photography working side-by-side with experienced experts, and I am happy to share my research, insights and advice about image licensing, stock photography offers and stock media industry with everyone in the creative community. My background is in Communication and Journalism, and I also love literature and performing arts.

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