Presentation on theme: "Understanding disability"— Presentation transcript:
1 Understanding disability Introduction to disability
2 Introduction to disability Individual models:Medical or charity view pointProblem = the individualSocial exclusion considered as resulting from the limitations imposed by impairmentsSocial model:« It is the society that disables us, not our impairments »Disability is part of lifeExclusion is created by external and environmental barriersIndividual models of disabilityDisability has long been considered an individual problem to be addressed only from a medical or charitable viewpoint. The charity model looks at persons with disabilities with pity and calls for generosity to help them, while the medical model seeks medical/ rehabilitation systems alone and special services to ‘repair the broken’ or ‘restore normal functioning’. Although these two models differ in spirit and proposed response, they both have a common root: the individual with impairment is seen as the problem to be solved and responsibility for disability lies with the person who must be ‘fixed’. This view equates disability with impairment, and “within this paradigm social exclusion is seen essentially as the result of limitations imposed by ‘disabilities’”.Social model of disability: “it is society that disables us, not our impairments”The social model of disability is born from the critique of the above-mentioned interpretations, which emerged in the 1970’s in the UK and the US. It proposes an interpretation that is radically different by asserting that persons with disabilities are disadvantaged not because of their individual characteristics but as a result of limitations imposed on them by environmental and external barriers. Disability is thus a result of how society is organised. According to this formulation, disability is about discrimination and social exclusion. This model implicitly recognises that impairment is part of life and calls for different responses and priorities: while acknowledging and including the necessary medical interventions, the focus is placed on the removal of disabling barriers (cf. examples of barriers in box (a) below) that prevent the full participation of persons with disabilities and make it impossible for them to take control of their own lives.
3 How do people in your country consider persons with disabilities? Question: can you provide examples of the way disability is perceived in your country or in the country where you work ?
7 Suresh’s storyMy name is Suresh. My back broke when I fell down a cliff whilst cutting grass to feed my cattle. I am now unable to walk due to problems with my legs. I am a teacher and the school where I work has 15 steps between the road and the classroom.Exercise: take 5 min to exchange with your neighbour on possible solutions using different understanding/ models of disabilityExamplesMedical Model approach:Problem: Spinal Cord Injury resulting in patient not able to move legs properly.Goal: For patient to move independently in a wheelchair in 1 monthIntervention: Wheelchair provisionSocial Model approachProblem: Due to Suresh's new physical status, he is unable to teach because he can not access the classroom.Goal: For Suresh to return to work as a teacher within 2 months.Intervention: Provide wheelchair and environmental modifications to the school where he works. Raise awareness in the education sector (public and private) on PWDs rights (to work…) and ability to teach.
8 Disability Creation Process (DCP) The DCP is based on a human development model which considers that:Human development results from an interaction between different personal and environmental factorsThe purpose is social participation
9 Quizz on terminologyFor each situation, identify what is: 1 - A cause 2 - An organic impairment 3 – A functional impairment 4 - An obstacle 5 - A disabling situationDistribute the exercise5 to 10 minutesABCDE
11 Defining disability“A disabling situation corresponds to the partial or non-realisation of life habits”. Article 1, CRPD :«Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”. Defining disabilityThe social model of disability highlights the fact that disability is a contextual and evolving concept. In this perspective, the Disability Creation Process defines a disabling situation as follows: “A disabling situation corresponds to the partial or non-realisation of life habits”. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states in its 1st article: “Persons with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”. These definitions focus on what creates a disabling situation and do not provide strict and universal criteria to determine who people with disabilities are. The choice of a disability definition strongly impacts people with disabilities’ identification and the disability prevalence rate in a given country. Defining disability is at the core of important public policies’ stakes: indeed, criteria and levels of disability decided by a State to define disability are strongly influenced by its capacity or will to address the demands of the identified population through appropriate social policies.
12 What terminology should be used? DCPpeople in a « disabling situation »CDPHpersons with disabilitiesDPOs (different views)disabled peopleWhat terminology should be used?The vocabulary that is use dis often a reflection of how disability is understood. The Disability Creation Process (DCP) uses the expression « disabling situation», to emphasize the fact that the person is not to be equated with the person. On the contrary, disability is a relative notion that results from a situation in which personal factors interact negatively with the environment.The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities refers to « persons with disabilities », which is a more common expression that emphasizes the person first. In everyday language, “people with disabilities” is more commonly used. Some groups argue that “disabled people” is preferable as it highlights the fact that the person is ‘rendered disabled’ by the society. Expressions such as “the disabled” should definitely be proscribed.
13 Key messagesDisability should not be considered as a personal attribute and limited to impairment, but as a situation which results from the interaction between the person and his/her environment.To reduce situations of disability, it is essential to reduce external and environmental barriers which prevent participation of people with disabilities on an equal basis with others.Disability is a relative concept; hence there is no strict definition.The English preferred terminology is “person with a disability” or “disabled person”.
15 Disability movement1970s: in the US and UK, individuals with disabilities started carrying out self-advocacy against discrimination and inequality and claimed for independent living and accessibilityCreation of numerous Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs)1981: ‘Disabled Peoples’ International’ (DPI) founded as the first international advocacy organization of this ‘new generation of DPOs’ emerging out of the social model of disabilityIn their function of representatives of persons with disabilities, DPOs mostly see their role as raising awareness in society and advocating for equal rights as citizens.
16 « Nothing about us without us » For historical reasons linked to the fact that people with disabilities have for long been considered unable to decide for themselves, DPOs pay a particular importance to the notion of participation, reflected in their international motto: « nothing about us without us ».« Nothing about us without us »