Thinking about Disability

One of the most useful and progressive ways to help understand disability is to make a clear distinction between disability and impairment. In making this distinction, impairment and disability are defined in the following ways: Impairment: a medical condition, illness or injury which will or is likely to impact on the way the body or mind works. Disability: the limitation and exclusion of someone with an impairment to access opportunities and take part in society on an equal basis as the result of barriers. Therefore, we do not use the word disability to mean impairment.

Discrimination and Barriers = Disability

People = Citizens

Access = Equal.

Disability is re-defined as a social (not individual) issue. Furthermore, barriers are not the inevitable outcome of impairment but are socially created through society not taking into consideration the requirements of people with impairments.We are disabled by what society does to us: therefore, disability is like racism or sexism.The framework that aids us understand the problems of ‘disability’ and helps us understand the best solutions to ‘disability’ is the Social Model of Disability.

Social Model of Disability

The problem is NOT the individual

Involves everyone in identifying solutions

Acknowledges people’s rights to full participation as citizens

Thinking about Rights

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to every person in the world, from birth until death. These basic rights are based on values like dignity, fairness, equality, respect and independence. Disability is a normal part of life, and therefore Deaf and disabled people should be accorded their human rights.

Thinking about Equality

Equality is based on your human right to participate in your own society. 

Equality is ensuring individuals and groups of individuals are treated fairly and equally and no less favourably than other individuals or groups. Equality does not always mean treating everyone the same. Equality is about having access to the necessary resources or supports so that individuals can have equal opportunities to make the most of their lives and talents.

Thinking about Diversity

Diversity literally means difference. Everyone is individual and different.

Disabled people are never just disabled people. They are diverse. They cross all demographics and participate in the world in many different ways. They shed light on a different aspect of human experience and contribute to the richness and diversity of society. Equality is achieved through recognising, respecting and valuing people’s differences.

Thinking about Creativity

Creativity is an attitude that allows people to express themselves. Creativity is curious, adventurous, disruptive, risk-taking, imaginative, rebellious, original, ingenious, inventive, resourceful, individuality, experimental, inventiveness, seeing, reflecting, unpredictable, creation, colouring outside the lines, making connections others cannot see and the occasional gaffe! Creativity allows real stories to be shared, assumptions to be fractured, low expectations to be shattered and perceptions to be altered.

Creativity is unique, compelling, unexpected and contagious.

Thinking about arts and culture

A disability perspective is important to the evolution of arts and cultural practice. It is a platform for experimentation, multiple narratives, new ways of working.  Disability exposes another aspect of the lived human experience and it deepens the richness of artistic/creative language, the arts are lesser without it

Random Fact Equality doesn’t mean identical