The Social Model of Disability

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 1
Words: 283
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

The medical model of disability is a conceptual approach that relates the diagnosis of disability to a person’s physical body. The main goal of this model is to correct a disability through medical intervention. This approach focuses on treatment and assumes that a “compassionate” society should invest resources in health care and related services to manage disability from a medical perspective (McCain, 2017). Following the medical model leads to the artificial separation of people with disabilities from everyone else, cultivating segregation on a domestic level by creating separate spaces and different activities. The development of particular practices that involve only people with a certain type of disability prevents attempts at integration (McCain, 2017). It leads to additional stigmatization of people with disabilities, a decrease in their status, and, consequently, a deterioration of their quality of life.

The social model of disability shows that the cause of disability is not the disease but the physical and organizational barriers, stereotypes, and prejudices existing in society toward people with disabilities. Thus, disability is a form of social inequality, and people with disabilities are a socially vulnerable group. Proponents of the social model of understanding disability strive to create a barrier-free environment in communication, education, and training (Lambird, 2017). As an ECE on my part, I can get involved in actively promoting the rights of children with disabilities and helping to reduce stigma. In addition, I would like to incorporate an informed approach into my practice and hold special lectures for children where inclusion and integration (The Social Model of Disability, n.d.) would be the main topics. ECE should also create an equal environment in groups and teach children to find rapport to avoid insults and misunderstandings.


The Social Model of Disability. (n.d.). Inclusion London. Web.

McCain, H. (2017). Medical model of disability versus social model of disability. Citizens for Accessible Neighbourhood. Web.

Lambird, R. (2017). Let’s talk about the Social Model of Disability [Video]. YouTube. Web.