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This step weaves together different concepts you have explored providing an opportunity for you to consider how to respond to this new perspectives.
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the social model of disability, to identify the ideas that influenced it and to consider its implications for social interactions, policy and practice. 

The social model is a threshold concept. It reorientates how we see the causes of particular issues or problems – the inequalities disabled people experience – and so changes how we respond. Although the distinction between impairment and disability can appear simple, it is a radical idea that helps us to think differently and places the focus on disabling barriers and disability discrimination as the cause of disadvantage. Addressing barriers and challenging discrimination has resulted in substantial and significant change globally, but it is inadequate in creating genuinely inclusive societies. So academics and activists challenge us to think big and be creative in our imaginings of what a society that is inclusive of all could look like. 

Thinking big is exciting but it can also be daunting. Focusing on structural, political, economic, cultural and attitudinal barriers sometimes seems beyond our individual influence. However, as you have identified in your responses to the different steps and questions, there are many actions and changes that can make a difference. Even what can appear as small steps, like changing the language we use to describe disability or thinking about how to make a space or activity more influential, can have a significant impact. 

Take some time to reflect on how you will make changes in the next few days or weeks. 

  • How can you make a difference where you are? 
  • How can you influence others? 
  • What opportunities are there to start conversations about building inclusive communities? 

Share your pledge in the comments below.

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Social Model of Disability

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