The social model of disability

Disability Equality NW is for all disabled people and exists to provide services which help disabled people live independently.

Our understanding of the Social Model is described here:

Understanding disability

Disability is not a straightforward thing to understand. There are many different words associated with it and many ways of describing it. These will mean different things to different people. It covers a variety of issues and is used to talk about our bodies and minds, the way society discriminates, cultural and political issues, and whether or not you are entitled to resources, like welfare benefits or protection under the law.

The Disability Discrimination Act

The Disability Discrimination Act defines a disabled person as someone who has an impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

The World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation sees disability as an umbrella term that includes impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions and focuses on the interaction between features of a person’s body/mind and those of the society where they live.

Previously, disability was understood soley as a tragic and medical issue. To challenge this activists and campaigners pushed forward alternative ways and models to understand disability.

Models of disability

A model is a representation or way of showing what something is like or how it works. There are number of different models of disability and many ways to talk about it.

The Medical Model

Disability is your problem because your body and/ or mind is broken and can be only treated by medicine.

The Charity Model

You are a poor little disabled person so we must raise money to improve facilities for you.

The Administrative Model

You are a number in the system, you must apply for help but we will decide what help you get.

The Social Model

You are disabled by society, your impairment is not the problem, society discriminates against you.

The Social Model

The social model makes a distinction between impairment = the diversity of your body/mind, and disability = discrimination by social barriers.

If the way society was organised was different, more inclusive, and better at understanding disabled people’s lives we could take part as citizens. It is the attitude, physical, organisational barriers that prevent us from working, learning, and having a family and stop us from living full lives.

The Social Model is our cornerstone

Disability Equality (nw) Ltd and its services are all run using the principles of the Social Model.

We focus on the individual, on what they can do not what they can’t – and we provide the services our members have requested to support them. Constant feedback ensures we continue to provide these high-quality services.

Our services

Use the button below to learn more about the services offered by Disability Equality NW.

Further information

Our services

Learn more about the services offered by Disability Equality NW.

Support us

Learn more about how you can support Disability Equality NW.

Contact us

Use the button below to find out more about contacting us.