Contrasting models of disability Essay

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The two resources which I have chosen I feel reflect some of the contrasting models of disability which we have looked at in Units 1-4 of the course materials (E214, The Open University, 2010). The first resource comes from the National Autistic Society’s website and the second comes from the national newspaper The Guardian.

The first resource (Appendix A) is an information page entitled ‘What is Asperger Syndrome’ and particularly focusses on the medical/deficit model of disability, a model which involves identifying symptoms, diagnosing a disease or a deficit and prescribing appropriate treatment (E214, Unit 2, p. 47). This resource is aimed at people who have been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, for parents whose
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These negative responses from non-disabled people and the need for people to appear as though they are helping the person with an impairment are particularly apparent in the tragedy model of disability, where disabled people are expected to ‘adjust’ to their situation, although this can often cause unhappiness (Swain & French, 2010, p. 157) as happened in Cerrie’s case with her prosthetic arm.

When Cerrie began on Cbeebies some parents had a very negative reaction to her appearing on their television screens and wrote in to a BBC messageboard saying that she was giving their children nightmares and freaking their children out (Appendix B). These negative opinions are an example of the social model of disability in which it is society that is considered disabling and not the person with the impairment. Disabled people have used the social model to explain to the rest of society about the barriers they face (E214, Unit 3, p. 104). One particular barrier is the attitudinal barrier of non-disabled people towards disabled people and how unjust these can be (E214, Unit 3, p. 117). Although the social model and the affirmation model have helped to move attitudes on for disabled people we can see from this example that there is still some way to go. By being so positive