The Medical Definitions Of Disability Essay

The Medical Definitions Of Disability Essay

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Thomas and Smith (2009), examine definitions of disability, they put definitions of disability into two board categories: medical or social. The medical definitions are also called personal tragedy category definitions. The medical definitions of disability domi¬nated understanding about disability for most of the twentieth century, particularly in Western countries. It suggests that disability is an impairment that is owned by an individual and which results in a loss or limitation of function or some other 'defect '. In 1980, the definitions of impairment, handicap and disability ware introduced by World Health Organization (WHO), which came to be widely used to apply much social and welfare policy and professional practice.

An important example of the dominant views of disability was the work conducted by the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH) the WHO combined their deification of disease with one that considered disability, impairment and handicap together. These terms were defined by the WHO in the following way:

Impairment: Any loss or abnormality of, psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function. (WHO, 1980: 27)
Disability: Any restriction or lack of ability (resulting from impairment) to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being. (WHO, 1980: 28)
Handicap: A disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from an impair¬ment or disability that limits or prevents the fulfilment of a role (depending on sex, social and cultural factors) for chat individual. (WHO, 1980: 29)

The ICIDH definitions conceptualized impairment as a deviation from a bio-medical norm, and clearly considered disability as the consequence ...


... middle of paper ...


...hose who considered as people with disability.

Barnes (1998: 78) proposes that one outcome of the attempts by the disabled people 's movement to challenge the orthodox medicalized explanation of disability was the 'social model ' or definition of disability that 'focuses on the envi¬ronmental and social barriers which exclude people with perceived impairments from mainstream society '. This definition of disability has become increasingly accepted by organisations of people with disability movement such as the UK 's Disabled People 's Council. This alternative definition which based upon a biomedical definition that some individuals could be saw to have an impairment, acknowledges that the complex causes of disability, which like all kinds of social division which have deep roots in the differential and unequal power positions between groups in the wider society.

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