Social Model as The Way to the Better Future For All The Society
From the very childhood, we’ve been taught that being disabled is about having disability, i.e. being not able to do certain things on one’s own, or, what was even a more widespread interpretation of this phenomenon, or a class of people – being not able to do most of everyday routine, or even any of the things on one’s own. Being a normal, regular able-bodied child or a young man/woman, you prefer just to do your things, get some fun and to not concentrate much on anything that may bring despair and sadness.
But suddenly, the matrix of your beliefs starts shifting, and the borders of your mind, the circle of people you treat as equal or as of your kind expands tremendously, forcing you to understand it completely: all the people are brothers and sisters, independently not only on skin color, gender or ethnicity but also – on the extent of physical/psychical “normality” people have. These amazing mind-shifts became possible thanks to the course “Disability Discourse: The Experienced Life” that made the students feel experiencing the life circumstances of the disabled people. The very first and the very fundamental realization of the main idea of the course, which I tend to interpret as to improve students’ humaneness and human potential through eliminating mental borders from the people with physical or psychical impairments, came through the acquaintance with the two models of perceiving invalids – the medical and the social.
According to the conventional medical model that proceeds to be predominant in today’s world’s society, people are invalids because of the disabilities caused by their bodies’ fallacies, and the only way to help those people is to cure them, trying to biologically fix their impairments. A social model of disability understands disability as a social phenomenon, the social oppression, the result of intentional restriction by the society itself from the opportunities of normal social functioning. Both of the models have strong arguments based on real evidence: the reason for limitation in actions and opportunities of people with physical or psychical/cognitive deficiencies might be seen in the objective existence of these deficiencies, but it also will be true to point out that it is as objective that giving a closer look to the phenomenon of “disability” dismantles the very nature of it: the absence of the conditions for the people with deficiencies, which is the result of social neglection of the needs of the disabled people. (Egan, 2012) But to choose between the alternatives, the truthfulness is not the only criterion to be count. The choice of treatment must also rely on the future it might build, and here, despite its “objectivity”, the medical model leads obviously to the less favorable variant of the future, in terms of the well-being of the disabled and humaneness of the society.
Medical model of understanding of the disability phenomenon considers the individual as the source of the disability, i.e. the specifics of his …