Introduction to Assistive Technology

Models Of Disability - The Paradigm Shift

It is important to look at the person before their disability. Disability is not who the person is, but what the person becomes, because of barriers like people’s attitudes and inaccessible system and infrastructure.

Over time, there has been a paradigm shift in the way people perceive disabilities. From viewing disability through the lens of charity to a medical condition, where the focus was on fixing or curing the person and now to a social model – which distinguishes impairment and disability and identifies societal attitudes and elements of exclusion as the reasons for disabling the person.
Disability within the social model is defined as the result of an interaction between the impairment of a person with environmental barriers which stops the person from participating and contributing on an equal basis with others.

As enablers of the Disability community, it is important for us to understand the ‘Social model of Disability’. Here is a short movie that breaks down this concept in a simple manner