The Social Models of Disability
What is it?
In the 1970 and 80s disabled people came together to start a political movement - Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS). They rejected the medical view of disability, with doctors and experts telling them how to live, and campaigned for social equality for people with impairments and recognition that it was society that was disabling them through isolation, segregation, and imposing a label of disability.
This way of thinking - separating disability and impairment - exposes disability as a form of oppression and how society produces social barriers that fail to take disabled people's needs into account.
Impairment - a characteristic of the mind, body or senses within an individual which is long term and may, or may not, be the result of disease, genetics or injury
Disability - the disadvantage or restriction of activity caused by the political, economic and cultural norms of a society which takes little or no account of people who have impairments and thus excludes them from mainstream activity