19.1.2  The medical model

The medical model of disability focuses primarily on the medical problems of persons with disabilities and emphasises medical solutions. It assumes that:

  • The problem of disability is due entirely to the individual’s condition or impairment.
  • People with disabilities are — first and foremost — ‘patients’.
  • The problem of disability requires a purely medical solution.

In the medical model the problem of disability is addressed by medical experts through providing treatment for people with disabilities, rather than asking them what they want. Like the charity model, this approach is largely unconcerned with the social or environmental features of disability.

19.1.1  The charity model

19.1.3  The social model