The Difference Between the Medical and Social Models of Disability

Topics: Disability, Disability rights movement, Wheelchair Pages: 4 (1196 words) Published: February 3, 2015
1.Know the difference between the Medical and Social models of disability.

1.1 Describe the Medical Model of disability.

The Medical Model sees disabled people as the problem. They need to be adapted to fit into the world as it is. This approach is based on a belief that the difficulties associated with the disability should be borne wholly by the disabled person, and that the disabled person should make extra effort to ensure that they do not inconvenience anyone else. If this is not possible, then they should be put in a specialised institution or stay at home, where only their basic needs are met. The emphasis is on dependence, and what they cannot do rather than what they can. Often, the impairment is focused on, rather than the needs of the person. The authority to change disabled people and their lives usually lies with the medical and associated professions, who focus on cures and rehabilitation rather than society adapting to the needs of disabled people. The medical approach often yields decisions that affect where disabled people go to school; what support they get; where they live; what benefits they are entitled to; whether they can work; and even, at times, whether they are born at all, or allowed to have children themselves. People with disabilities have generally rejected this model as being out dated. Some feel it has led to their low self-esteem, undeveloped life skills, poor education and high unemployment levels. Some also feel that the Medical Model requires the breaking of natural relationships with their families, communities and society as a whole.

1.2 Describe the Social Model of disability.

The Social Model of disability states that disability is caused by the way society is organised, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent in society, with choice and control over...
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