The social model of disability: What does it mean for practice in services for people with learning difficulties?
Coles, J. (2001) The social model of disability: What does it mean for practice in services for people with learning difficulties? Disability & Society, 16 (4). pp. 501-510. ISSN 0968-7599
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09687590120059504
Does the social model of disability currently inform the delivery of services for people labelled as having profound and complex learning difficulties? What distinguishes practice which draws on the social model from that which is influenced by an individual model or a medical model of disability? This paper draws on the findings of a small scale interpretive research study and some of the current debates within disability studies to illuminate these questions. It concludes that the social model can and does positively impact on some practice and that it should be taught to all providers of services for this group. It further concludes that to include discussion about individual experience of impairment in such training may have negative consequences.