Is the social model optional?

In recent discussions with a fellow disability activists who is advocating the rights of ‘sick’ people as being very difference to disabled people, she suggested that the social model does not need to apply to everyone and that as a foundation of policy, it was in some way optional. This is a part of a wider campaign by those who define themselves as sick, often as well as being disabled, to escape the responsibilities laid within the social model and to adopt instead a tragedy medical model for an arbitrary list of impairment, often minor impairments, which are defined as sickness so can be dealt with an unemployable and worthy of being written off with label based compensation in exchange for exclusion from society.
I see the social model as core to the government’s social policy on disability and impairment, and it is ridiculous to enable one impairment group to be excluded and allowed to adopt a medical model appropriate simply because they feel like not being contributing citizens. I fully acknowledge that accessibility has not been fully developed to raise all impairments, especially those dealing with pain, where a major reform of the notion of employment is needed. As someone with cerebral palsy and pain issues, I am insulted that some will fight for my fight to work because I have cerebral, despite it significantly affected my lifestyle, but would have me written off as unemployable to be excluded from society because I have chronic pain issues that is far less significant!
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  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s