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Inclusion Column

Social Model of Disability

By Blanca Livas

When I first heard the term Social Model of Disability I first had to understand what a Model of Disability was. The Michigan Disability Rights Coalition defines it as a tool for defining impairment and providing a basis upon which government and society can devise strategies for meeting the needs of disabled people. It was then that I started investigating about the different models of disability, I realized how far behind our community is. As ASFM is transitioning into becoming an inclusive community we have to understand we can not look at all situations through the Medical model lense. By this I mean we can not have all individuals “fixed” to fit “The Standard”. What is that standard? We’d all need fixing!!!

As I continued my research I was faced with a “new” trend which emerged about 40 years ago, created and lobbied by disabled individuals. This model defines impairment as a medical condition that leads to disability. Disability is defined as the result of the interaction between people living with impairments and barriers in the physical, attitudinal, communication and social environment.

In this 3 min. Video we will hear what this model means to individuals.