Models of Disability: Why the Social Model is Better

Hello, my name is Anja, and I am blind. If you saw me out in the world, walking with my white cane, or checking the time with the screen reader on my phone, you would probably figure that out.  If I wanted to, I could choose to let you believe that I am a “normal” sighted college student. I am writing this piece to talk about how you and I see people with disabilities, and how we should see them. There are two ways we currently see disability. One is the medical model, a societal approach to disability that emphasizes the individual as the reason for the “problem” of disability. As I will do my best to explain, I strongly believe that the other option - the social model - is a better way to look at disability, because it focuses on the systemic barriers that impact people with disabilities, rather than assuming the individual is the problem.

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