Social Models Of Accobility: The Social Model Of Disability

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A. Medical Model The Medical Model of disability has been the dominant paradigm of conceptualization disability: “For over a hundred years, disability has been defined in predominantly medical terms as a chronic functional incapacity whose consequence was functional limitations assumed to result from physical or mental impairment.” This approach to understanding disability tends to be more descriptive and normative by seeking out to define what is normal and what is not. Consequently, strict normative categories abound, namely the “disabled” and “abled” dichotomy. This model views the physiological difference itself as the problem, where the individual is the focus of that said disability. Thus, given that disability is viewed as…show more content…
As suggested earlier, however, the physiological component of disability is distinguished from disability under the motion of impairment. Tom Shakespeare explains that key to the Social Model of disability is a “series of dichotomies,” one where “impairment is distinguished from disability.” For example, the Social Model accepts that deafness is a physiological impairment that person’s participation in society is limited, to some physical extent. And, even assuming if society was to completely accept individuals with disabilities, without prejudice or categorization, there would nonetheless be physical limitations. Nevertheless, the crucial assertion under the Social Model is that “disability” is, by definition, a social…show more content…
Interestingly, the Medical Model of disability starkly contrasts how other forms of discrimination are typically viewed in society. For example, most individuals believe that the social ailments surrounding racial and ethnic minorities, women, and sexual minorities stem not from any sort of physiological abnormality, but rather from societal environments that breed discrimination. Thus, discrimination against these minority groups are often viewed as unreasonable. Moreover, attempts at justifying the discrimination against any of these groups is deemed socially deplorable. In contrast, many people seem to view discrimination against disabled individuals as not only rational, but also morally acceptable (in the RGT context specifically). The result, therefore, is that individuals who strive against discrimination in other contexts may be apt to justify discrimination against disabled
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