MODELS OF DISABILITY
In the world where one looks at impairments and the effect these impairments have on an individual both in a physical way as well as a social and emotional way, one finds many different opinions and perspectives. Over time, these perspectives or way of thinking, have been grouped into what is referred to as models of disability. The main two branches of thought, which have stood out, are referred to as the Medical model and the Social model.
The Medical Model
As its name implies this model is directly linked to the way in which impairment is viewed by a professional from the medical field. The person’s impairment is something which needs a medical explanation, and needs treatment and needs a cure. So right from the start, it is clear that people who adapt this train of thought (the medical model) will identify the person by his/her impairment or condition.
The Medical model’s focus is on the person’s impairment and what is prevents the individual from doing when compared to what society views as normal. Under this model the person with the impairment is seen a s a disabled person who needs to be fixed; therefore many a time treatment in the form of surgery, therapy and medication are usually prescribed to help the person or fix the impairment. Back in the days when the field of mecidine did not have the advances which technology has given it, may people with impairments (especially in cases of retardation, and slow mental development) which could not be cured with the medical resources available, were institutionalised or segregated into special schools.
With the same focus on the person’s impairment, that is present in the medical model, over the years we have seen research done in ways which has unveiled a greater understanding to the limitations of various conditions. Research and development into therapy programmes such as ABA and social stories have benefited those people with developmental impairments such as Autism...