Disabled PNG Transparent Images

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Submitted by on Apr 20, 2020

Disability is a term commonly used to refer to a social condition that is recognized to be the result of any physical or mental impairment, primarily detected through medical procedures. Some of them are present at birth, while other impairments occur at different stages of a person’s life as a manifestation of genetic conditions or as a result of conflicts (such as war) and accidents. Examples are varying degrees of blindness, deafness, speech impairment (dumbness), and loss of limbs. Chronic diseases should also be added to this list. Typically, prostheses, such as magnifiers, braille, hearing aids, sign language, crutches, wheelchairs and other similar devices, were designed to alleviate the disability in life experienced by persons with disabilities.

Constitution of Disabled Peoples’ International (1981) defines an Impairment as “the loss or limitation of physical, mental or sensory function on a long-term or permanent basis”, and disability is defined as “loss or limitation of opportunities to participate in the normal life of a community on an equal basis with others due to physical and social barriers.

Since all serious disabilities leading to disability appear to be associated with a recognized medical condition, historically disability studies have been based on a medical model that focuses almost exclusively on humans. Following the medical model, people with disabilities were separated from “normal” people and considered insufficient; they lacked self-efficacy, which needed care. People with disabilities were determined by their deficiencies, what they could not do, and not what they could do. Society as a whole did not try to adapt to the needs of people with disabilities, integrate them, instead of trying to isolate them in institutions or at home. Impairment was seen as a problem, and people with disabilities were limited to passive recipients of drugs, care, and targeted assistance through government intervention or charity. Even today, as befits a medical model, people with disabilities are considered to need rehabilitation. They are subject to negative stereotypes and prejudices from the rest of society. In addition, the ubiquitous built-up environment imposes restrictions on their mobility, access to employment and recreation.


Mike Oliver (1996), an academic with direct experience of disability and what is associated with it, calls the medical model an “individual model,” making a binary distinction between it and the social models that followed the Disability Movement in the 1970s. Vick Finkelstein, another scientist, and Paul Hunt, an activist, also participated in the creation of the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS). Oliver fought against the “medicalization” of disability, denying that there was never a “medical model” of disability.

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