The challenge of disability and access: Reconceptualizing the role of the medical model

  • Rothman J
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The fields of social work and disability seek to optimize well-being and life experience for clients with disabilities. The field of disability has defined and explored several frameworks for understanding disability, which are currently polarized between the problem-centered ‘‘medical’’ models and the social ‘‘disability as construction’’ models. The differences and the interplay between them affects both individuals and society. Four foundational social work theoretical models are considered in terms of their ability to integrate with disability frameworks and to address the differences between them. The bio-psycho-socio-cultural-spiritual model is suggested as the optimal model to both resolve the disability frameworks’ duality and to optimally integrate social work and disability service provision

Author-supplied keywords

  • Access
  • Disability
  • Disability frameworks
  • Medical model
  • Social work and disability

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  • Juliet C. Rothman

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