Explain the Social and Medical Models of Disability and the Impact of Each on Practice Essay

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Q1 Explain the social and medical models of disability and the impact of each on practice The medical model of disability views disability as a ‘problem’ that belongs to the disabled individual. It is not seen as an issue to concern anyone other than the individualaffected. For example, if a wheelchair using student is unable to get into a building because of some steps, the medical model would suggest that this is because of the wheelchair, rather than the steps. The medical model 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 (perhaps in time and/or money) to ensure that they do not inconvenience anyone else. The social model of disability, in contrast, would see the steps as the disabling barrier. This model draws on the idea that it is society that disables people, through designing everything to meet the needs of the majority of people who are not disabled. There is a recognition within the social model that there is a great deal that society can do to reduce, and ultimately remove, some of these disabling barriers, and that this task is the responsibility of society, rather than the disabled person. The social model is more inclusive in approach. Pro-active thought is given to how disabled people can participate in activities on an equal footing with non-disabled people. Certain adjustments are made, even where this involves time or money, to ensure t disabled people are not excluded. The onus is on the organiser of the event or activity to make sure that their activity is accessible. Many people are willing to adopt the social model and to make adjustments for those who have a visible disability. However, they are not as accommodating with those who have a hidden disability, or a disability that is not clearly

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