Social model of disability

Social model of disability: The social model of disability is a theoretical framework that views disability as the result of society’s inability to accommodate and include individuals with impairments. It emphasizes the role of social barriers, such as prejudice, discrimination, and inaccessible environments, in creating disability, rather than seeing disability as an inherent personal trait.


1. What is the main principle behind the social model of disability?
The main principle of the social model of disability is that disability is not caused by an individual’s impairment but rather by societal barriers and attitudes towards those with impairments. It puts the responsibility on society to remove those barriers and promote inclusivity.

2. How is the social model of disability different from the medical model?
The social model of disability differs from the medical model, which views disability as a medical problem located within the individual. The social model shifts the focus from fixing the individual to changing society and its structures to promote greater inclusion and accessibility for all.

3. Does the social model of disability deny the existence of impairments?
No, the social model of disability does not deny the existence of impairments. It recognizes that impairments exist but argues that disability is a result of societal barriers. The social model seeks to challenge and remove those barriers to empower individuals with impairments.

4. What are some examples of social barriers mentioned in the social model of disability?
Examples of social barriers include physical barriers like lack of wheelchair ramps or accessible transportation, attitudinal barriers like stereotypes and discrimination faced by people with disabilities, and institutional barriers like inaccessible websites or employment practices that discriminate against individuals with disabilities.

5. How does the social model of disability promote inclusivity?
The social model of disability promotes inclusivity by advocating for changes within society to ensure equal participation and access for individuals with disabilities. It encourages the adaptation of physical environments, the elimination of discrimination and prejudice, and the implementation of inclusive policies and practices across all aspects of life.