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How to be Inclusive

On this page you will find helpful information and advice on how to ensure disabled people are included in all social activities


Models of Disability

Medical Model of Disability

The medical model of disability claims that people with disabilities need to be ‘fixed’ through the use of medical procedures in order for them to participate fully within society.

Social Model of Disability

The social model of disability on the other hand argues that buildings and other infrastructures have been created for the able-bodied person and these discriminate disabled people from full participation within society. The social model therefore argues that these infrastructures need to change in order to accommodate disabled people.

By using the social model instead of the medical model gives us the chance to change structures in society which will allow disabled people to participate more fully in society.

Psychology of Disability

It is now argued that it is not just an unaccommodating environment that discriminates disabled people but also the attitudes that some of the non-disabled have towards disabled people. This includes staring, name calling…etc which can work just as well to exclude disabled people from society as a flight of stairs or an out of reach door handle.

By campaigning to change attitudes towards disabled people can become more included within society and not feel intimidated when out.


Helpful tips

  • Be aware of language you use to ensure you use terminology with positive connotations. For example asking a disabled person if you can help them rather than if they have special needs –in this instance their needs become special and different which is often not what they want. 
  • Don’t make assumptions about what a disabled person might want, always ask for more information about how the disability affects the individual.
  • Always talk directly to disabled people and not at the person who is with them, especially when talking to a deaf person who has an interpreter.
  •  Don’t make assumptions or generalisations. The assistance required for people with same type of disability, may differ depending on the individual.
  • Ensure disabled people are treated in an ordinary way. DONT be overly nice- DONT be too grumpy. Disabled people are often sick, in their everyday lives, of being treated in a manner that differentiates them from the rest of society.
  • Remember that a person’s disability is only one part of them, not everything about them!