Total Access to Work Toolkit – CAFE

Total Access to Work Toolkit – CAFE

The social model of disability states that the barriers that exist within society create disability. The social model identifies solutions to the barriers that disabled people often experience and it encourages the removal of these barriers within society, or the reduction of their effects, rather than trying to fix an individual’s impairment or health condition.

In contrast the medical model provides the notion that disability is caused by an individual’s health condition or impairment. The medical model says that by fixing their impairments, disabled people would be able to participate in society like everyone else. This is an outdated model that is no longer supported by disabled people or their organisations.

When considering the provision of an accessible and inclusive environment, it is crucial to consider the social model of disability. The social model of disability explains that it is social and physical ‘barriers’ that cause ‘disability’ not impairments. It is important to see the person and not the disability and to remove attitudinal barriers and negative stereotypes.

The social model is the preferred model for disabled people. It empowers disabled people and encourages society to be more inclusive. Leading disability and equality NGOs, including the Centre for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE), have adopted the social model of disability.

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