The social model of disability identifies systemic barriers, derogatory attitudes, and social exclusion (intentional or inadvertent), which make it difficult or impossible for individuals with impairments to attain their valued functionings. The social model of disability diverges from the dominant medical model of disability, which is a functional analysis of the body as a machine to be fixed in order to conform with normative values. While physical, sensory, intellectual, or psychological variations may cause individual functional limitation or impairments, these do not necessarily have to lead to disability unless society fails to take account of and include people regardless of their individual differences.

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP)

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People logo image

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) is a Disabled People’s Organisation, which means it is controlled and run by disabled people only. All Executive Council members and staff positions are only available to disabled people. This is because as an organisation we feel it is essential for disabled people to have our own voice and our own control of our organisation.

Defining Impairment within the Social Model of Disability

The social model of disability has been with us for a while now and we are pleased that it is thriving and gaining ground. We believe that even though we may be making some progress with the acceptance of the social model of disability, whereby disabled people define disability, non-disabled professionals are controlling the definition of impairment and will continue to do so, and this threatens the development of the social model of disability.