For too long people with disabilities have been treated as second-class citizens. They have repeatedly been bombarded by messages that they their bodies are defective, that they need to be fixed or cured, and that their inability to participate fully in society is because of them and their disability. Perhaps we can view this situation differently.
I am reminded of the phrase ‘when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change”. So true.
Let’s first examine some of the ways that people with disabilities are seen by society, as well as how people with disabilities see themselves. Perhaps there has been an overemphasis on the medical model of disability, which has kept people with disabilities from being able to fully participate in society..
1. The medical model says that disability is a deficiency or abnormality whereas the social model says that disability is a difference, just as a person’s gender, age or race is a difference.
2. The medical model says that having a disability is negative whereas the social model says that having a disability is neutral. It is a part of who you are.
3. The medical