Medical Model / Social Model Essay

1063 WordsMay 6, 20145 Pages
MEDICAL MODEL / SOCIAL MODEL DEFINITIONS Impairment is the loss or limitation of physical, mental or sensory function on a long term, or permanent basis. Disablement is the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the normal life of the community on an equal level with others due to physical and social barriers. Disabled People's International 1981) Disabled People include people with: physical impairments; sensory impairments deaf people, blind people); chronic illness or health issues including HIV and AIDS; all degrees of learning difficulties and emotional and behavioral problems. It also includes people with hidden impairments such as epilepsy, diabetes, sickle cell anemia; specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, speech and language impairments, children labeled as 'delicate'; people who identify as 'disfigured'; people of diminutive stature and people with mental distress. All are excluded by barriers though not all have impairments. Two Ways of viewing disablement: 'Medical Model' or 'Social Model'. The 'Medical Model' of Disability The 'medical model' sees the disabled person as the problem. We are to be adapted to fit into the world as it is. If this is not possible, then we are shut away in some specialised institution or isolated at home, where only our most basic needs are met. The emphasis is on dependence, backed up by the stereotypes of disability that call forth pity, fear and patronising attitudes. Usually the impairment is focused on, rather than the needs of the person. The power to change us seems to lie within the medical and associated professions, with their talk of cures, normalisation and science. Often our lives are handed over to them. Other people's assessments of us, usually non-disabled professionals, are used to determine where we go to school, what support we get and what type of education; where we live;

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