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Ataxia UK
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medical model of disability v social model of disability?

hi im doing a course and its asked me to explain the pro's and con's of the medical model and social model of disability? and its asked me which 1 i'd prefer to use in a workplace with children. so i figured i'd ask those affected by these 2 models, has anyone been affected by either of those? would u share your experiences? and opinions?

also which do you prefer? i'd much like quotes i could use on my coursework although i wont state names

i hope you can help me


8 Replies

I am not sure what exactly is meant by the two terms medical/social model of disability ? what are the differences ? As far as I see it - in both cases it means biologicaly differently form to the majority of man/womankind, or a malfunction of an organ/s of the body.



Hi Nicci

From what I can gather it depends if you need Nursing care or social.I have been through this with my mother who has Alzheimers.She was better than me a few weeks ago.My argument at the tiime was she could not remember where the toilet was.But my daughter is a Nurse and I remember how much it cost to train her.Ithink the present system is unfair.All mum's savings over the years have gone to her care wheras if you spent it while you were young and enjoyed it you get the same trreatment now.Where is the justice or the incentive to save?

As yet I don't need Nursing care but I need help getting dressed and various things in the evening.There is a team of people to help us with Ataxia.I think we need to look at the expense.

As I undestand my Ataxia is a different part of the brain and memory and cognitive skills are unaffected.We are alldifferent but how can we be expected to fit into either models- social or medical.

Having had Rare Disease Day I am sure there are plenty of others who would argue they don't fit in to either model.

Good luck with the research.

M arie


Hi Nikki,

I've just read an interesting article relating to your question, due to brain fog today

I had to google instead of thinking. The article was on the British Red Cross site.

Good luck with your course.




oh thankyou ill have a look at that


What is medical model and social model? Thank you...


its how people treat disability in society its a bit complex


I'd be happy to respond if I understood what medical model and social model mean...


I prefer a bit of both. Yes, if society were a lot more accepting and if everything was geared towards people like us (ramps everywhere, all accessible transport etc) it would make life A LOT easier! But then I also like seeing my doctor and learning about why (medically) my condition is as it is, and there's no denying that the reason I need accessible transport etc is because of a medical problem. So I think we need both models.

Just my opinion though!


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