Essay On The Medical Model Of Disability

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Introduction This essay will explore the medical model of disability as well as the social model of disability by providing an in depth analysis of the views and explanations that outline each perspective. It will examine and establish the connection of the two models in relation to Deaf people. Furthermore it will illustrate how Deaf people are defined according to each outlook, as well as the issues and concerns that arise from these perceptions. This essay will consider the medical model and the social model to compare the ideas and objectives of the given articles; Caught in the Deaf Trap by Karen Van Rooyen, A Brave New World of Sound by Thandi Skade, Fake Interpreters: A Violation of Human Rights and lastly Professor Graham Turner’s; 10 lessons from the tale of the ‘fake’ interpreter. The medical model The World Health Organisation, WHO, (1980) defines disability in the medical model as a physical or mental impairment that restricts participation in an activity that a ‘normal’ human being would partake, due to a lack of ability to perform the task . Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (n.d.) states that the medical model emphasizes that there is a problem regarding the abilities of the individual. They argue that the condition of the disabled persons is solely ‘medical’ and as a result the focus is to cure and provide treatment to disabled people (Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, 2014). In the medical model, issues of disability are dealt with according to defined government structures and policies and are seen as a separate issue from ordinary communal concerns (Emmet, 2005: 69). According to Enabling Teachers and Trainers to Improve the Accessibility of Adult Education (2008) people with disabilities largely disa... ... middle of paper ... ...f another patient, two year old Monthati Makofane. The child was “frightened” and “overwhelmed” , however, his parents were thrilled at the idea that their son would grow up and have what they deemed a “normal life”, submitting to the ideas of the medical perspective. Conclusion Provided with the viewpoints on both the medical model and social model of disability, it is clear that these two concepts differ in terms of the definition of disability as well as the attitude of society towards people with disabilities. It is evident that people with disabilities veer towards the social model rather than the medical model. It is essential to acknowledge that Deafness is categorised as a medical disability within the individual as well as a societal disability, as society is not equipped enough to deal with the communication barriers that stem from hearing impairments.

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