Video Content

Social Model vs Medical Model of Disability

When it comes to disability, there are two models. The social model and the medical model of disability.

In this video, we’re going to talk about the social model.

Today’s topic is essential to help us understand why is important that we create inclusive designs.

When it comes to disabilities two models come to mind.

The social and medical model of disability. while both models have a long history of understanding disabilities. They also have significant differences.

Let’s start by understanding the medical model of disability.

The medical model looks at impairment as something that can be diagnosed by expert researchers, specialists, and doctors. The medical model of disability blames the individual for having a disability based on biological or genetic conditions.

Unfortunately, many people think about disability in this way.

The medical model focuses on improving life using medicine and treatments. Trying to get the people with disabilities to match the abilities of the general population as close as possible. But the downside of doing this. Is that the responsibility to deal with barriers in society is the individual’s responsibility.

Imagine being someone with a disability. Learning to adapt to your new reality and lifestyle. Then to all of that, add the burden of having to figure out how to overcome the physical and mental barriers in society on your own.

Sounds like a lot to deal with doesn’t it?

Now let’s talk about the social model of disability.

The social model of disability states that society and the environment should be responsible for making things accessible for all people with disabilities. In the case of a person in a wheelchair. Society is responsible for creating wheelchair-accessible spaces as well as areas to access to live like everybody else.

For blind people for example. Society could add one of those traffic light button stations that talk. Telling the individual to wait to
cross the street while the light is still red.

The social model focuses on teaching people from society how to help people with disabilities. Both social and medical
models have advantages and disadvantages.

Still, it is essential to recognize our role as members of society.

As UX designers and developers we must create inclusive designs and applications. So, the question here is.
Are your designs accessible?

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I’m Fred Mercedes and this was your accessible bit. See you in the next video!