|TAXI DRIVER TRAINING
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Addressing the problem
The problem in the traditional (medical, individual or charity) models of disability is the disabled person (therefore they need to be changed to help them fit in). So for example, from a medical model perspective, people might make statements such as "she can't use public transport", "she's too short to reach the light switch" or "he can't take part in the meeting because he can't hear". The obsession with finding medically based cures distracts us from looking at causes of exclusion and disablement.
The social model identifies the central problem as being the disabling world. Using the social model, the above statements would be turned around to "public transport is inaccessible", "the light switches are too high" and "there were no sign language interpreters provided (or no induction loop), which prevented him from taking part in the meeting".
The understanding of the social model of disability by non-disabled people builds a community of allies which speeds the progress on attitudinal change. This in turn has a positive impact on creating a barrier-free society that gains the full benefit of the talents and contributions of all its citizens, and in which disabled people take their rightful place in education, the workforce and all aspects of community life.