Medical and Social Models of Disability
Models of disability can be helpful in conceptualizing and providing a framework for understanding society's perceptions and actions toward individual differences in ability. The development of these models provides us with a continuum that reflects changing social attitudes to disability. The models will change as society changes, and are not exclusive of each other. Two of the most common models of disability are Social and Medical.
The Social Model views disability as a consequence of environmental, social and attitudinal barriers that may prevent people from fully participating in society.
The Medical Model views disability as resulting from an individual person's physical or mental limitations, and is not connected to the social or geographical environments. The Medical Model focuses on finding a "cure" or making a person more "normal."
Disability is a deficiency or abnormality
Disability is a difference
Disability resides in the individual
Disability derives from interaction between an individual and society
The remedy for disability- related problems is cure or normalization of the individual
The remedy for disability-related problems is a change in the interaction between the individual and society
The agent of remedy is the professional who affects the arrangements between the individual and society
The agent of remedy can be the individual, and advocate, or anyone who affects the arrangements between the individual and society