Accessibility options: Default text size Larger Text size Largest text size Black text on yellow background Black text on pink background Dark blue text on light blue background Default colour scheme White text on black background scheme Text Only

donate button


Social & Medical Models of Disability | Integration is not Inclusion | FAQs | Article 24 of UN Convention | Salamanca Statement | News Archive | Inclusion is the Future

Models of Disability

Social Model

The Social Model was developed by disabled people. It takes the view that society creates barriers that 'disable' people from participating fully and on an equal basis with others and that these barriers must be removed. By creating barriers in buildings and structures or by not producing information in different formats such as Braille or Easy Read, people with impairments/health conditions are ‘disabled’. This way of thinking takes the focus away from what is ‘wrong’ with a disabled person (their impairment or condition) and puts the emphasis on what we should all do, in alliance, to identify and remove barriers.

For example: using different means of communications to match the requirements of the individuals in the class will enable all children to communicate.

The Social Model of Disability leads us naturally towards a desire to develop Inclusive Practice.

Click here to find out more about the Social Model


Medical Model

The Medical Model sees the disabled person’s impairment or health condition as ‘the problem’. The focus is therefore on ‘fixing’ or ‘curing’ the individual. This is the Medical Model of Disability.

For example: A disabled person may use a wheel chair - this is not a problem, the problem is if there is no ramp!

Click here to find out more about the Medical Model


Read more about ALLFIE and our seven principles of inclusive education, join us, or donate to support our work in removing barriers to equal education.