The social model of disability
We encourage the use of the social model as a way of understanding disability. It says that disability is created by barriers in society.
The barriers generally fall into 3 categories:
- the environment – including inaccessible buildings and services
- people’s attitudes – stereotyping, discrimination and prejudice
- organisations – inflexible policies, practices and procedures
The issue is the ‘disabling environment’ and the negative attitudes towards disability.
Disability is caused by an unaccommodating environment, negative attitudes and organisational structures:
- Inaccessible transport
- Poorly designed buildings
- Segregated services
- Lack of understanding
- Too few sign language interpreters
Definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010
You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.
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