Models of Disability

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Models of Disability
Disability is a human reality that has been perceived differently by diverse cultures and historical periods.  For most of the 20th century, disability was defined according to a medical model. In the medical model, disability is assumed to be a way to characterize a particular set of largely static, functional limitations. This led to stereotyping and defining people by condition or limitations.  World Health Organization (WHO) – New definition of Disability In 2001, the World Health Organization (WHO) established a new definition of disability, declaring it an umbrella term with several components: * impairments: a problem in body function or structure

* activity limitations: a difficulty encountered by a person in executing a task or action * participation restrictions:  a problem experienced by a person in involvement in life situations. Social or Human Rights – New Model

The new definition of disability:
* Emphasizes the contextual
* Focuses on the role played by society in defining, causing, or maintaining disability, or disabling experiences * Respects individual abilities and choices
Definition of disability|
OLD APPROACH| NEW PARADIGM|
* A diagnosis * A medical "problem” * A person is limited and defined by the impairment or condition| * A social and environmental issue that deals with accessibility, accommodations, and equity * Individuals with temporary or permanent impairments require accommodations to live full and independent lives| Strategies to address disability|

OLD APPROACH| NEW PARADIGM|
* Fix the individual * Correct the deficit within the individual * Provide medical, vocational, or psychological rehabilitation services| * Remove barriers: physical, intellectual, cultural and educational * Create access through accommodations, universal design, and inclusive learning environments| Role of person with disability|

OLD APPROACH| NEW PARADIGM|
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