First I would like to apologise as it’s been over a week since my first post but unfortunately my laptop decide to just not work. Even though I have a degree in computing technology hates me :(.

Anyway I mentioned a week (and a few days ago) that I was going to explain why I sometimes say that I have an impairment instead of that I’m disabled or have a disability. Well that perspective comes from learning about the social model and medical model at university. I took a lecture about assistive technology in my last year at university and in the beginning we learnt about different disabilities and the impact assistive technology has on their lives. Now I’m not going to lie, I thought at the start “I know everything about disabilities, I’m going to learn nothing”.

But how wrong I could have been. It opened my eyes up to so much, too much to write in one post. However back to the social model and medical model. These two models show two very different ways people view having an impairment. The social model describes the theory that a person isn’t disabled due to their impairment but due to the society around them. Society should be adapted to enable anyone who has an impairment to do things as independently as possible. For example, if all buildings had automatic doors then people like myself who can’t open doors themselves wouldn’t have to ask or sit and wait for someone to open them. The medical model however is the model that I don’t quite agree with, it is the opposite of the social model as it looks at how the person’s impairment is the reason they aren’t able to take part in society and that it should be ‘fixed’. It looks at what’s ‘wrong’ with the person rather than what’s needed to help them. For example, someone can’t read a newspaper because they are blind not because they don’t produce newspapers in braille.

To end this blog post I would like to let you know my favourite word of all time. Now it’s not my favourite word because it sounds funny or anything, but because it’s a great way to show that the things people may say about disabilities can be hurtful just like racism remarks. The word is disablism. Scope which is a charity that campaigns to make the word a better place for disabled people defines disablism as “discriminatory, oppressive or abusive behaviour arising from the belief that disabled people are inferior to others”. Now this word is not in the dictionary and as I write this post a squiggly red line is located under is stating that I have misspelt is, I do hope it is more recognised soon.

4 thoughts on “Social and Medical Model”

  1. Loving your blog Claire. Such a fabulous thing to do and I really hope it helps to educate some people too. We could all do with a bit of learning no matter how enlightened we think we are and what I love about your posts is that they are very individual to you and your experiences as well as speaking generally about the way some people in society view people with impairments too. I’ll be waiting for the next one …

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