The Social Model

Understanding Disability blog

Blog by Nim Ralph.

People are scared to talk about disability, often because deep down they are scared of disability.

I find people do want to get it right – and that’s important. But, when what’s at stake is people’s wellbeing, sometimes intention isn’t enough. Therefore, supporting people to feel more resourced and empowered to talk about disability is important in combating the negative impacts on disabled people.

One of the biggest hurdles to achieving this is that, in talking about disability, people often get stuck on finding the “right language”. However, there isn’t 100% fixed, agreed or rubber-stamped good language.

In actual fact, more important than always having the right language is understanding why you might choose one word or another.

The rest of this blog series talks through the construction of different Models of Disability. A Model is a framework from which disability is understood in society. By understanding the models and how they have historically and culturally impacted each other, you’ll be better resourced to understand why disability is talked about in the language and ways it is.