I have chosen the article I’m not a person with disability, I’m a disabled person. This article was interesting in the way Lisa (the author) thinks and explain her point of view. she has an arguments with two pieces. In the author’s introduction she said “I am not a person with a disability. I do not have a disability”. Given the fact that Lisa is in a wheelchair we probably would think that she is crazy. I wanted to quote this because this quote is an important piece of the article.
Lisa was arguing that we are only disabled as much as society puts on us and the difference between being impaired and disabled. Defining the word disability is a problem not just in London where the author is from but across the world.
Lisa said that there are two ways of looking at the word disability: The medical model, which is where our bodies or brain do not function in the way they are supposed to, and the social model which is where society builds barriers in the way of an ill person.
Lisa showed us that these are two different things. For example, a person who got in an accident and can’t feel or control the bottom half of their body. I am guilty of calling that person disabled because there are certain things they can’t do. Here is the thing, are not these things man made? (Examples: going up and down the stairs, driving, biking and washing dishes). Can’t we as architects, doctors, designers and basic people make things easier for them? If that man suddenly got a robotic spine that helped him walk would we still look at him as disabled? I know that I would not. That is because he simply does everything the same way everybody does it now. This is a proof of why the social model has some flaws. I volunteered in a disability center and I can tell that these people see who treats them for who they really are and who treats them for what they look like.
The medical model and the social model (can be seen as two of the premises of the argument). She explained their pros and cons, she said that the social model is the right path to think about disabled people but we should not look at them different. Society builds barriers in between a disabled person and their daily activities. She clarified how our society is looking through the wrong perspective of how to communicate with someone that does things differently than others. Sometimes society does not meet disabled people’s needs and that is why us as a society see them disabled. These people are only disabled when society fails to make things accessible for them. I see the social model as us looking at them for what they look like not who they are and that is simply wrong.
She also said that there are some bad sides to the medical model. That we as normal human beings look at disabled people as if it is their fault that they are impaired and that it is none of our business to interfere. The good thing in the medical model is this is how we recognize their needs for a better life. Treating an impaired person as disabled is a human thing to do but put yourself in their shoes. Having someone asking you if you need simple things every five minutes does not actually help. Through my experience I find it better to just wait for them to ask for help. This piece of the argument is important because it is trying to show us that society has a role with impaired people that can go two totally different directions. Society’s way of treating them can either make them stronger by actually meeting their needs or it can damage them even more. This time the damage is not only on the outside, it’s on the inside too.
Given what Lisa said (taking painkillers every 4 hours for her multiple broken bones) makes this statement an axiom. The next two statements are premises to help us understand and differentiate between the two terms (Disabled and Impaired). These statements definitions so we can clearly agree on the meaning of a term (if we do not agree on a basic definitions then we can continue with the argument). These premises support the conclusion because they help you understand that Lisa, is in fact impaired and not disabled which brings us to the conclusion and why it is important. With the given facts, we can say that we are all guilty of calling people disabled when it is not their fault that something is not normal with their bodies or brains. They are only disabled because of us and the society.
In conclusion, we can all agree that having something wrong with our bodies or minds, does not make us disabled. This argument and its conclusion are important because society and our social world (the social model) play a big role in the life of an impaired person. I came from Egypt a couple years ago and I have seen how community can affect an impaired person. First, the way society recognize their needs and start giving them a better and easier life. Second, the way people treat them can have as much affect.
Cite this Disability and our Society
Disability and our Society. (2021, Mar 27). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/disability-and-our-society/