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Disabilities and Family Management

  • By: Amy Houtrow
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Disability can be understood as the experience of a limitation in one's ability to do the things other people of the same age can do. The 2000 U.S. Census counted more than 41 million children and adults in the United States as chronically disabled. These individuals are limited by the way their bodies function, the way they are able to carry out activities, or in the way they are able to fulfill social roles and participate in life events. The medical model of disability highlights the importance of diseases and individual consequences. In contrast, the social model rejects the idea that disability is an individual characteristic and postulates that if the physical world was fully accessible and society's attitudes were accepting, the experience of disability ...

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