My understand of the social model


I feel that many people are using the social model of disability to either support to condemn the welfare reforms based on this understanding of the model. I feel many people see the barriers disabled people face in terms of a political group and all disabled people can be seen as equality oppressed regardless of the degree of their impairments. I however believe in the same way as the medical model, the social model as about the social, environmental and attitudinal barriers individuals face.


By this I mean if you reduce the barriers someone with an impairment faces as a result of their impairment or no barriers exist than they are no longer considered disabled. Everyone has impairments but it makes sense that as society continues to improve, less people with impairments can be considered disabled. People with impairments will still require specific services to manage their impairment and they will have to some degree an impairment identity which is different to an disability identify.


We have reached a stage where the social model is reaching its conclusion and people need to catch up to a new way of thinking about themselves as people are impairments.


If you like what I say, have a look at my site at or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email  


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