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Social Model of Disability - Essay Example

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Social Model of Disability

It has multi-dimensional concept with both objective and subjective characteristics. Interpreted as an illness or impairment, Disability can be seen as fixed in an individual's body or mind. Whereas interpreted as a social context, Disability can be seen in terms of the socio-economic, cultural and political disadvantages resulting from an individual's exclusion by the non-disabled society he/she is in. Different stakeholders like persons with disabilities; Social advocacy groups, Medical practitioners, Social workers and the General public all have a different view of disability. And the meaning of Disability has evolved over the years through various perspectives such as a moral perspective, a medical perspective as well as social and human rights perspectives.
The core definition of the British social model comes in the UPIAS document, Fundamental Principles of Disability. Let me quote from an edited version of the document reprinted in Oliver (1996), " In our view, it is society, which disables physically impaired people. Disability is something imposed on top of our impairments by the way we are unnecessarily isolated and excluded from full participation in society. Disabled people are therefore an oppressed group in society. To understand this it is necessary to grasp the distinction between the physical impairment and the social situation, called 'disability', of people with such impairment. Thus we define impairment as lacking all or part of a limb, or having a defective limb, organism or mechanism of the body and disability as the disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by a contemporary social organization which takes little or no account of people who have physical impairments and thus excludes them from participation in the mainstream of social activities." (Oliver, 1996, 22).
The British social model contains several key elements. It claims that disabled people are an oppressed social group. It distinguishes between the impairments that people have, and the oppression, which they experience. And most importantly, it defines 'disability' as the social oppression, not the form of impairment.
The Social approach to Disability has its roots in British history. The social model is much more developed in UK. It has been called 'the big idea' by the British disability movement (Hasler, 1993). Developed in the 1970s by activists in the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS), it was given academic credibility via the work of Vic Finkelstein (1980, 1981), Colin Barnes (1991) and particularly Mike Oliver (1990, 1996). The social model has now become the ideological litmus test of disability politics in Britain, used by the disabled people's movement to distinguish between organizations, policies, ...Show more

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C) Self-appraisal ONE of my experiences of group work during this module, using the guidelines for reflective practice. Concluding by suggesting how my learning from this experience may enhance my interactions with patients/ clients on my first clinical placement
Author : oliverglover
Social Model of Disability essay example
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