Social Model of Disability
The Social Model of disability is a civil rights based approach to disability developed by disabled people in the 1970s and 1980s. It focuses on challenging and removing barriers which prevent disabled people from living full and active lives These barriers are many and varied and can lead to institutional discrimination, for example:
- Buildings are built that disabled people cannot get into.
- Information is produced in ways that disabled people cannot use.
- Attitudes and stereotypes about disabled people prevent us from having the same opportunities as non-disabled people.
- Special services are created that keep us segregated and cut off from everybody else.
What is so exciting about the social model of disability is that it shows how we can achieve equality for disabled people; not by medical interventions, miracles or acts of charity but by:
- creating buildings that are accessible.
- producing information in accessible formats.
- challenging stereotypes and assumptions.
- ending segregated services.
- disabled people, doing things for themselves.
- by disabled people having full civil rights under the law.