UNDERSTAND PHYSICAL DISABILITY
A report by the Office of Population Census and Surveys has revealed that one in ten of the population has a disability of some form. It is therefore important to avoid stereotyping and treat this large section of society as people for whom disability is only one factor in their individuality. Because of old fashioned stereotyping and the labels that go with that , people with disabilities can be put off or feel inadequate or unworthy of living full lives and competing on equal terms as the rest of society. By seeing the person as an individual first; rather than the disability leads to less segregation, enforced dependency on others, promotion of their civil rights and less outright discrimination. By placing the person centrally, the person will have more choice by focusing on their skills and capabilities, the things that are important to the person will be recognised and their social inclusion should increase. The social model of disability formed by disabled people themselves challenged the medical model of disability which stated that ‘an individual’s disability is a ‘medical problem’ which results in the individual not being able to function in society because of their disability’. The social model argued that it is society that prevents them from being full and active members because of the barriers it put up. It is important an assessment is person centred to ensure the person is at the centre of all decision making and supports the needs of the person, therefore empowering them, reduce challenging behaviour, and promoting individuality. By focusing on an individuals’ strengths and aspirations rather than their needs only; will raise the individuals’ self-esteem and worth, give them more independence and encourage further development. Physical disability is defined as a physical impairment which has a substantial long-term, adverse effect, on a person’s ability to carry out day -to-day activities. Congenital – Born with a physical disability
Acquired - The result of a brain injury, accident/amputation Neurological – damage to the nervous system – brain/spinal cord which results in the loss of some body functions In a congenital physical disability a person is born with the disability, the disability is present at or before the birth, or develops in the first month of life. Neurological disabilities are developed through damage to the nervous system which results in the loss of some bodily or mental functions. Neurological disability can affect and change a person’s mobility and/or their ability to manipulate things, the way they act, tolerate or express themselves also the way they think and process information. People with a progressive disability can experience a grieving process as each stage of their disability progresses. They may fear for their future, the impact their disability will have on relationships and employment/skills, maintaining their dignity and independence, social inclusion, mobility issues. All of these can lead to frustration, stress and depression. With a congenital disability because the person is born with the disability they will have evolved coping mechanisms and strategies to help them manage their disability. A person with a progressive disability will have to keep adapting and changing their coping mechanisms and strategies as their disability progresses. The environmental and social barriers which can have a disabling effect on people with physical disability include barriers to education and training, employment, transport, housing, leisure, social and cultural activities. These barriers can be caused by buildings which are inaccessible, lack of transport or unsuitable forms of transport, teachers, tutors, employer’s lack of awareness of the needs of people with disabilities, poor communication or the wrong form of communication. The effect of a physical disability is different for each individual...
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