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9.2b. Describe the social model of disability and how it underpins positive attitudes towards disability and involving people in their own care.

The ‘social model of disability’ is the way that society responds to an individual and their condition. It is worth noting that this is different from the ‘medical model of disability’ which which focuses on trying to treat or cure an illness.

The social model looks for ways to remove barriers caused by an individual’s condition that limit their life choices. For example, individuals with dementia might be stereotyped as being affected the same as all other people with dementia and might be treated differently because of this attitude. When barriers like these are removed, it can make an individual more independent and make them feel like they are equal in society.

Overall, the social model puts the focus on the individual and their unique needs caused as a result of their condition. This approach is person-centred, and helps to develop positive attitudes in society as well as the individual.