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What is the social model of disability?

People perceive disability in different ways, including what causes a disability; what ‘disability’ means; and how someone’s disability and the environment they live in can impact their life. These different perspectives are called “models of disability”. The model we align with represents our beliefs surrounding disability; how we understand different people’s needs; and what adjustments we make in order to offer fair access to those living with disabilities. In this blog, we’re going to discuss the Social Model of Disability.

In this model, unlike the Medical Model, disabilities aren’t caused by medical conditions. This Model says that society and our environment is what disables people, by making everyday life harder for some in comparison to others. So, if our society - meaning all of us as a collection of individuals - takes action to make sure that everyone has their individual needs met, fewer people would experience disability. 

The great thing about this is that we can all have the power to help!

With this model, the individual difficulties a person experiences, which prevent them from doing a specific task or activity, are called impairments. And if a person with an impairment faces extra disadvantages because of the way they’re treated by other people, or because the environment isn’t suitable for them, then it becomes a disability. 

As an example, a person who is blind has an impairment. They don’t have a disability until they’re put in a situation where society or the environment disables them, by failing to give them the tools and resources they need. If more and more of us adapted to the social model of thinking, it would mean that we take responsibility for the power we have to make a genuine difference to the lives of people that don’t yet have access to the quality of life they deserve.

Disability Awareness & Inclusion Training

Our Disability Awareness & Inclusion course is informative and insightful and will inspire staff to make a positive difference in their workplace and the wider community. In this course, users will cover 3 key sections to help them learn about disabilities, both visible and invisible, learn how they can create an inclusive workplace culture and understand what it's like to work with a disability. These sections are;

  • Raising Awareness
  • Disability & The Law
  • Workplace Practices & Culture

Get instant access to this course today and help your organisation make sure that people with disabilities are given the same considerations and fair access to the same opportunities as people without disabilities.

Disability Awareness & Inclusion Training
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