chapter  2
14 Pages

Moving on from Definitional Debates

ByLinda Barclay

This chapter shows that the social model is not uniquely placed to justify the changes needed to tackle persistent injustice. This is both because the social model cannot justify the degree of social change its advocates often assume and also because the potential of other models of disability to justify social redress is underestimated. While it is widely assumed that a conception of disability entails certain justice claims, the chapter suggests, to the contrary, assumptions about justice often play a large role in determining whether any given conception of disability is plausible. Disability scholars have been right to expose the widespread grip of the medical model on health professionals, policy-makers and others and its clear influence on how people with disability are treated. It has been widely assumed that normative conclusions about the just treatment of people with disabilities simply drop out of conceptual or definitional claims about the nature of impairment and disability.