Disability & The Defended Self
Not that long ago, I read an article on The Mighty that drew from two polarized understandings of disability. The first was the medical model of disability — “that when something is wrong with the body or mind it is an impairment or pathology, therefore, it is not functional, the ideal state is non-disabled, and an outside force should help work to ‘fix’ or cure the ‘broken’ state of the disabled person.” In a sense, this becomes a highly individualized diagnosis leading to bias prejudice, labels, and often exclusionary isolation from society (Ableism). The second is what it calls the social model of disability — “that yes, impairments in the body and mind do occur but that disability occurs because of the external disadvantages society creates in the management or handling of a person’s impairments through attitudes, systems, structures, and beliefs.”
What I often think is that we create a sort of pendulum structure between these two spheres; swaying back and forth while weighing the measures of truth between the two understandings. Do they both present certain truths?
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