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Resource listing - Definitions and Models of Disability

DEFINING IMPAIRMENT AND DISABILITY: ISSUES AT STAKE

Chapter 3 (in 'Exploring the Divide', edited by Colin Barnes and Geof Mercer, Leeds: The Disability Press, 1996, pp.29 -54). DEFINING IMPAIRMENT AND DISABILITY: ISSUES AT STAKE Mike Oliver INTRODUCTION For the past fifteen years the social model of disability has been the foundation upon which disabled people have chosen to organise themselves collectively. This has resulted in unparalleled success in changing the discourses around disability, in promoting disability as a civil rights issue and in developing schemes to give disabled people autonomy and control in their own lives. Despite these successes, in recent years the social model has come under increasing scrutiny both from disabled people and from others working in the field of chronic illness. What I want to explore in this chapter are some of the issues that are at stake in these emerging criticisms and suggest that there is still a great deal of mileage to be gained from the social model and that we weaken it at our peril. I will do this by briefly outlining the two alternative schemas which have emerged in the articulation of conflicting definitions of chronic illness, impairment and disability. I will then discuss six issues that, I suggest, go to the heart of the debate as far as external criticisms from medical sociologists are concerned. These are: the issue of causality; the question of conceptual consistency; the role of language; the normalising tendencies contained in both schemas; the problem of experience; and finally, the politicisation of the definitional process.

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DEFINING IMPAIRMENT AND DISABILITY: ISSUES AT STAKE

Chapter 3 (in 'Exploring the Divide', edited by Colin Barnes and Geof Mercer, Leeds: The Disability Press, 1996, pp.29 -54). DEFINING IMPAIRMENT AND DISABILITY: ISSUES AT STAKE Mike Oliver INTRODUCTION For the past fifteen years the social model of disability has been the foundation upon which disabled people have chosen to organise themselves collectively. This has resulted in unparalleled success in changing the discourses around disability, in promoting disability as a civil rights issue and in developing schemes to give disabled people autonomy and control in their own lives. Despite these successes, in recent years the social model has come under increasing scrutiny both from disabled people and from others working in the field of chronic illness. What I want to explore in this chapter are some of the issues that are at stake in these emerging criticisms and suggest that there is still a great deal of mileage to be gained from the social model and that we weaken it at our peril. I will do this by briefly outlining the two alternative schemas which have emerged in the articulation of conflicting definitions of chronic illness, impairment and disability. I will then discuss six issues that, I suggest, go to the heart of the debate as far as external criticisms from medical sociologists are concerned. These are: the issue of causality; the question of conceptual consistency; the role of language; the normalising tendencies contained in both schemas; the problem of experience; and finally, the politicisation of the definitional process.

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Enabling disabled people to reduce poverty - Briefing Note: The social model of disability, human rights and development

Disability KaR Research Project Enabling disabled people to reduce poverty Briefing Note: The social model of disability, human rights and development Bill Albert September 2004

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Mainstreaming equality theories: towards a generic model of discrimination

Sally Witcher 2005 Mainstreaming equality is generally defined as “the incorporation of Equal Opportunities issues into all actions, programmes and policies from the outset.” (Rees 1998, pp3-4). It stands to reason that if equality issues are to be mainstreamed, there first needs to be a thorough understanding of what these are for people with different characteristics and how issues ‘fit’ together. Certainly, at a superficial level, the barriers confronting people from BME communities, women, disabled people, etc can appear very different. For example, a barrier to work for someone from a BME community might be that English is not a first language, for women it might lack of child-care and for physically disabled person inaccessible premises. It may be that the interests of different groups (or even of different members within each group) do not coincide, that the barriers to equality they confront are fundamentally unalike and require radically differing forms of intervention. At worst, action to remove barriers for some may create more for others. If so, to mainstream equality for all would present significant challenges, generating a competition between equality groups, from which some would emerge victorious while others lose out.

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Manifesto for a Sustainable Society - Disability

Green Party Policy DY100 For the purposes of this policy base, the term ‘disability’ refers not to the situation of having a physical, mental or other impairment. Instead it refers to the widespread phenomenon of people being unable to do things in society specifically because society has failed to reconstruct itself (physically and culturally) in all the possible ways that would ensure that an individual’s impairments are not a barrier to their full participation.

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Social Models as a Basis for Commissioning: the social model, user involvement and services?

A summary of a 25 minute presentation given by Dr Colin Barnes at the 'Executive Seminar on User Involvement' , Midlands Hotel, Derby, 23 July 1996

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THE INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIAL MODELS OF DISABILITY

MIKE OLIVER BA PhD READER IN DISABILITY STUDIES - THAMES POLYTECHNIC Paper presented at Joint Workshop of the Living Options Group and the Research Unit of the Royal College of Physicians on PEOPLE WITH ESTABLISHED LOCOMOTOR DISABILITIES IN HOSPITALS Monday 23 July 1990

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The Social Model of Disability and its implications for language use

Language use is not really difficult, there are a few simple rules which help you to understand what to say and why.

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What is disability

What is disability? If you were to ask a mixed group of disabled and non-disabled people that question, the chances are that the different answers given could almost add up to the same number as those present in the room!

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WHAT IS DISABILITY?

What is disability? If you were to ask a mixed group of disabled and non-disabled people that question, the chances are that the different answers given could almost add up to the same number as those present in the room! The problem is that there are many different and often opposing ways of defining disability.

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