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The Social Model of Disability Essay

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Updated: Jun 21st, 2022

People with impairments face challenges, not because of their condition, but because of how the society is structured. The society creates barriers that make it difficult for them to navigate the world as those without impairments do. Barriers to accessibility can be physical, organizational, technological, or attitudinal. Physical barriers exist when places are constructed in a way that does not accommodate people with impairments. For instance, when a building does not have ramps, it contributes to oppression. Organizational obstacles are policies and procedures, such as mandatory in-person learning, established by organizations that prevent all members from fully participating. Technological inaccessibility occurs when technology is not designed to cater to all people. For instance, materials with small font or without alternative text make it impossible for certain groups of people to read. Attitudinal barriers are negative beliefs, attitudes, and stereotypes that people hold about those with impairments. An example of such a belief is when the former think that the latter are inferior and that they are doing them a favor by assisting them. Such an oppressive attitude by causes people with impairments to experience disability.

From the examples given, it is evident that disability exists because people with impairments are forced to live in a world that is not accessible to them. The first step in eliminating disability is acknowledging that the society creates barriers for people with impairments. The next step is to remove these structures and barriers. This will create a more equitable system that enables people with impairments to take a more active role in their lives. Disability is a social construct that can be eliminated by recognizing it as one and taking the remedial measures to ensure increased accessibility.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "The Social Model of Disability." June 21, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-social-model-of-disability/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'The Social Model of Disability'. 21 June.

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