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The Social and Medical Models of Disability
The social and medical models of disability

The medical model of disability locates disability within the individual, leading to the dependence of the ‘disabled’ upon health and social care professionals for any improvements in their daily lives. Alternatively, the social model of disability focuses on disability as being located in society rather than the individual. Such ‘disabling societies’ create negative attitudes and prejudice for those with physical and psychological impairments.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are approximately 19 million people in the world with a severe disability. Of this, the vast majority of people with a disability (80 per cent) are to be found in low-income countries. In the higher-income countries, disability is also a common feature ...

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