Disability Demystified: A Self Transformation A brief journey of the Disability Movement
1.Traditional Model 2.Medical & Charity Model 3.Social Model 4.Human Rights Model. Models in the Disability Movement Page 13
Traditional Model Disabled People were under the spell of witchcraft, as penitent sinners, or disability is viewed as a punishment from God for the wrong doing by themselves or their parents .
Social Isolation Page 14 Families believed that they could not include the disabled person – in social occasions & gatherings and are definitely dependent on them.
Medical & Charity Model Focuses on what is wrong with the person Can’t walk Can’t read or write Requires Medical Intervention Needs Therapy Requires Sheltered Home Can’t Work Special Schools, Special vans and Rehabilitation and Passive beneficiaries of Charity
Social Model Focus is on who the Person is. Disabled People started believing that they should be seen as contributing members of the Society. Wants to own a Business Enjoy Sport Loves to be with Friends. Am an Active Member of the Society Page 15
People have no expectations from a person with disability. They need to be “Super Heroes “ or “Super Crippled”, not allowed to be an ordinary Person Attitude of society towards disabled people
Attitude of Disabled People Page 16 TEACH ME SKILLS DON’T TREAT MY ILLS
Human Rights Model No requests. Its our Right to be Included. Inclusion in Sports Inclusion in Employment Right to Access Thought to be Shared
Attitude of the Rehabilitation Professionals Perfectionist Doesn’t care about what the Disabled Person feel. Don’t believe that Disabled Person can find his/her own way of DOING THINGS. Rehabilitation Professional can only view the disability of a Person Page 17
Definition of Impairment, Disability & Handicap
Impairment: Any loss or abnormality of psychological or anatomical structure or function.
Disability: Any restriction or lack of ability (resulting from an impairment) to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.
Handicap: Any disadvantage for a given individual, resulting from impairment or a disability that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that is normal for that individual.
Myths & Facts
Myth: A Disabled person is sick , or has something wrong with them.
Fact: Disability is a natural part of human experience, and it is not the same as being sick, it perpetuates a negative stereotype and an assumption that the person can be and should be cured
Myth: People with disability have a poor quality of life.
Fact: This is one of the most common and damaging stereotypes, because it discourages social interactions and the development of mature relationships. Society handicaps individuals by building inaccessible schools, theatres, homes , buses etc. the attitude that disability is a bad thing and that disability means poor quality of life is often viewed as more disabling than the disability itself.
Myth: People with disability always need expensive and hi tech assistive devices or services
Fact: Simple inexpensive devices are often the most critical in helping people with a disability live independently. Assistive devices can be as an eating utensil or Velcro strap.
Myth: People with severe disabilities need to live in nursing homes or rehabilitation hospitals or under constant supervision so that they do not hurt themselves.
Fact: Unfortunately, this myth has created a system of long term care in our mind that relies on institutions such as nursing homes and other facilities. Even those with most severe disabilities could live in their own home given adequate community based service, and at the very least, they should be given that choice.
Myth: People with disabilities feel more comfortable around other people with disabilities.
Fact: This myth may have arisen from the many years of segregated learning and living environments. Years ago it was common to see people with disabilities grouped together. This is no longer the case.
Myth: People who are blind have sixth sense.
Fact: Although most people with blindness develop their remaining senses more highly than other, they do not have a sixth sense.
Myth: People from disability need to be protected from failing.
Fact: People with disabilities have a right to participate in the full range of human experience including success and failure.
Myth: people with disabilities have different goals than people without disabilities.
Fact: Because people with disabilities have all types of cultural, social, and economic backgrounds, their goals can be as different as any two persons goals are.
Myth: People with disabilities have problems getting around.
Fact: People with disabilities know what they need to get from point A to B and may use a walker, wheelchair, bus or carpool to get there. Problems only arise when architectural or attitudinal barriers get in the way.
Myth: People with disabilities are usually very sedate and unable to participate in recreational activities.
Fact: People with disabilities lead diverse lives and take part in any sport or hobby you can think of including mountain climbing, kayaking, dancing, horseback riding, scuba diving, racing, snow skiing and skydiving.
Stereotypes are groups of attitudes which have little or no basis in reality and yet persist in cultures.
There are ten main stereotypes of disabled people:
Pitiable or pathetic or sweet and innocent.
Sinister of evil.
Curiosities or freaks.
Noble and triumphing over tragedy .
Laughable or the butt of jokes.
Having a chip on their shoulder.
A burden or an outcast from society.
A non-sexual person.
Incapable of fully participating in everyday life.
Help us in defying stereotypes
“ Disabled people should be shown as an ordinary part of life in all forms of representation. Not as stereotypes or invisible.”
Shun one – dimensional characterisations. Portray disabled people as having complex personalities capable of a full range of emotions.
Avoid depicting us as always receiving. Show us as equals , giving as well as receiving.
Avoid presenting physical and mental characteristics as determining personality.
Refrain from depicting us as objects of curiosity. Make us ordinary. Our impairments should not be ridiculed or made butt of jokes.
Avoid sensationalizing us, especially as victims or perpetrators of violence.
Refrain from endowing us with superhuman attributes.
Avoid showing disabled people as non sexual show us in loving relationships and expressing the same range of sexual needs and desires as non disabled persons.
Show us as an ordinary part of life in all forms of representations.
Most importantly cast us train us and write us into your scripts, programs and publications.
Physically/Mentally/visually challenged are terms used by non-disabled, but does not make sense to disabled persons. Saying for example physically challenged is to state that the obstacles to one’s participation are physical and not social and the barrier is one’s own disability.
Suffering from this confuses disability with illness and also implies that a disability may be a personal burden. Increasingly, disabled people view their disability as a positive rather than a negative experience.
The blind calling everyone together in this way is felt by many to take away their individuality. The most appropriate term to use here is ‘people with visual impairments’ or ‘blind people’.
Victim of this again plays to a sense that disability is somehow a tragedy.
Cripple or crippled by use the term ‘the person has….’.
Wheelchair bound disabled people are not tied into their wheelchairs. A wheelchair offers the freedom to move around and is a valuable tool.
‘ Deaf and dumb’ this phrase is demeaning and inaccurate. Many deaf people use sign language to communicate and dumb people implies that someone is stupid. Use ‘a person with hearing impairment’ or ‘sign language user’.
‘ The disabled’ there is no such thing as disabled. Use the term ‘disabled persons’.
‘ People with disabilities’ the term ‘disabled people’ is the preferred term within the social model of disability. ‘People with disabilities’ suggests that the disability ‘belongs’ to the disabled person, rather than ‘disabled person’ which accurately infers that society disables the individual, thus adopting the social model of disability.
‘ handicapped’ this term is inappropriate, with images of begging and disabled people being cap in hand.
‘ able bodied’ the preferred tern is ‘non-disabled’. ‘Able-bodied’ suggests that all disabilities are physical and ignores unseen disabilities, and that disabled people are not able.
People with an ‘intellectual impairment’ prefer to be described as people with ‘learning difficulties’ not ‘mental handicap’. It is important not to confuse learning difficulties with mental illness.
People who are deaf or blind or deaf/blind are said to have ‘sensory impairment’ either ‘hearing’ or ‘sight impaired’. People who are deaf/blind prefer ‘dual sensory impairment’.
Asserting the rights of disabled – massive social action by the federation on 19.8.08
THE RESULT government graciously accepted our demands
YES WE CAN….
T.M.N.Deepak M.S.W., M.S.(lond)., CIMH(lond)
State Vice President Federation of Disabled Peoples Association
D.Narendran – Final year B.E.(S.R.M)
Volunteer Federation of Disabled Peoples Association