Moving Away From a Medical Model of Disability

The dominant understanding of disability, globally, is shaped by a medical understanding of bodies. This model of disability sees mental and physical differences as conditions to be fixed or overcome by individuals. Although it is true that all disabilities include some sort of physiological, physical, or psychological element, by only focusing on these elements we have for too long isolated people (socially and politically) because of their physical or mental differences. We have made disabilities the “responsibility” of the individual, often urging drastic measures to be taken in order to be “fixed.”

DisArt Promotes a Social Model of Disability

The social model of  disability, by contrast, sees the causes of disability quite differently. This model looks at cultural environments (physical and social) as the main sources of disabling practices. Consequently, people are disabled by the cultural stereotypes and misconceptions heaved on to them by nondisabled standards of health and wellness; they are disabled by attitudinal and architectural barriers.