2019, Rhetoric + Argumentation

An Integrative Approach to Advocacy: The Addition of Aspects from the Medical Model to the Strong Social Model

MAYESHA AWAL

The strong social model is very important because it has contributed to vast social movements worldwide to reform social barriers for individuals with disability, yet this model has gained controversial attention in the disability movement because of its limited scope—that social barriers are the only reason why disabilities arise. However, I argue that the strong social model needs to alter its approach. Through the examination of the individual attitudes and policy, economic, and social barriers, I will argue that the strong social model is deficient and needs to change its approach to include medical impairments of those with disabilities. Unlike the strong social model, the medical model acknowledges that disability arises because something is wrong with the human body. The strong social model finds that the negative attitudes of individuals in society can hinder an individual with disability from advancing in society. When analyzing policy barriers in accordance to the strong social model, I have found that the Bangladesh Persons with Disability Welfare Act (2001) is deficient because it does not address accessibility to the services for individuals with disabilities. In addition, the economic barriers that are addressed in the model include unequal distribution of income and the inefficient dissemination of welfare information. Finally, the social barriers that are addressed in this article include the barriers of transportation that those with disabilities may encounter. Despite the fact that the strong social model addresses social barriers, the model does not address the physical and medical impairments of those with disabilities. The strong social model can improve its approach by creating an integrated paradigm, acknowledging that there are medical conditions that may give rise to disability. This way, society can address both the social and medical barriers in order to make accessibility much more efficient for those with disabilities.

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