This textbook brings together a wide range of expert voices from the field of disability studies and the disabled people's movement to tackle the essential topics relevant to this area of study. From the outset disability is discussed from a social model perspective, demonstrating how future practice and discourse could break down barriers and lead to more equal relationships for disabled people in everyday life.
An interdisciplinary and broad-ranging text, the book includes 50 chapters on topics relevant across health and social care. Reflective questions and suggestions for further reading throughout will help readers gain a critical appreciation of the subject and expand their knowledge.
This will be valuable reading for students and professionals across disability studies, health, nursing, social work, social care, social policy and sociology.
Chapter 18: Families
Many of the Internet resources brought up when searching for the term ‘disabled family’ reflect medical or individual models of disability.1 These models tend to portray disabled families as a ‘problem’ in need of special help. This perpetuates the image of disabled families as dependant and deviant. Images of disabled children often promote stereotypes about tragedy, charity, segregation and parental heroism (Barnes 1992) or blame (Rawls 2012). Disabled parents are likely to be seen as incompetent and/or selfish (Wilde 2011).
In contrast, social model understandings of disabled families refer to individual and collective family experiences of disabling attitudes and social circumstances. Disablement may arise from the poor material circumstances of many disabled families (Wood 2011); from the ‘courtesy stigma’ often associated with those related ...