Models of Disability

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Models of Disability – social and medical There are various models of disabilities, including social and medical. So what is the difference between social and medical models of disabilities? The medical model of disability views the disability as the problem and that the problem belongs solely to the disabled person. It shouldn’t affect or concern any other person. For example, if a man in a wheelchair was in a hotel with no lifts, just stairs and he wanted to get to the 6th floor, the medical model would view the man to be the problem and that the individual should make extra effort to make sure they are not causing a problem to anyone – this could be through money or time. The social model of disability views the objects as the problem and that as a ‘society’ everything should be made available for each individual. For example, if a man in a wheelchair was in a hotel with no lifts, just stairs and he wanted to get to the 6th floor, the social model would view the stairs as the problem and that proactive thoughts should be used to make adjustments for everyone to participate. It is perceived that we are now in a world where the social model of disability is encouraged more than the medical model. However this can appear to conflict with the medical model, as the medical model can somewhat be discriminating against people with disabilities. On viewing how the medical model could impact our practice, it could prove to be a very stressful setting. This is because individuals wouldn’t have the same opportunities or support in life. They would not be valued. They would be left to fend for themselves both staff and children. This could also lead to the promotion of teaching adults and children not to mix with disabled humans or help each other. In addition communication would become a real barrier as people would not feel comfortable asking for assistance

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