Solingen 93

Domestic Violence and Abuse

The Social Model of Disability – with Audio Description


According to the social model of disability, disability is socially constructed. The social model of disability contrasts with what is called the medical model of disability. According to the medical
model of disability, disability is a health condition
dealt with by the medical professionals. People with disability are thought
to be different to what is normal. Or in other words, thought to be abnormal. Disability is seen to be the
problem of the individual and not the problem of society. From the medical model,
a person with disability is in need of being fixed or cured. The medical model of disability is all about
what a person cannot do and cannot be. From this point of view,
disability may be seen as a tragedy and people with disability may be pitied. The social model sees disability
is the result of interaction between people living with
impairments and an environment filled with physical, attitudinal,
communication and social barriers. It therefore carries
the implication that the physical, attitudinal, communication
and social environment must change to enable people
living with impairments to participate in society or in the
community on an equal basis with other people. A social model perspective does
not deny the reality of impairment nor its impact on the actual individual. However, it does challenge
the physical, attitudinal, communication and social environment
to accommodate impairment as an expected incident
of human diversity. The social model seeks to change
society in order to accommodate people living with impairment. It does not seek to change
persons with impairment to accommodate the actual society. It supports the view that people
with disability have a right to be fully participating citizens
on an equal basis with everyone else. The social model of disability is
now internationally recognized way to view and address disability. The United Nations Convention on
the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or the UN CRPD,
marks the official paradigm shift in attitudes toward
people with disability and approaches to disability
concerns and issues. People with disability are not objects
of charity, medical treatment and social protection
but are subjects with rights, capable of claiming those rights,
able to make decisions for their own lives based on their free and informed consent and being active members of society. In this context, impairment is a
medical condition that leads to disability, while disability is the result
of the interaction between people living with impairments
and barriers that are in the physical, attitudinal, communication
and social environment. For example, it’s not the inability
to walk that keeps a person from being able to enter
a building by themselves but the fact that there might
be stairs in front of the building that makes the building inaccessible
for the wheelchair user to enter the building.

Cesar Sullivan

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