There are two models of disability: the medical model of disability and the social model of disability. The medical model asserts that disability requires fixing, a cure or treatment, or a way to minimize or remove that disability in a world of non-disabled “normals.” The social model asserts that disability is entitled to accommodations to allow for accessibility that is equal to or comparable to that of non-disabled “normals.” Sometimes this is best explained by an example:Disability: spina bifida, confinement to a wheelchair modification aligning more strongly with the medical model of disability: Fitting the individual with leg braces to help him or her walk modifications aligning more strongly with the social model of disability: Requiring ramps allowing access to the front doors of all public buildings indicates whether the listed modifications for severe hearing loss more closely align with the medical model or the social model of disability:1. American Sign Language interpreter provided at public events2. encouraging individuals to read speakers’ lips3. cochlear implant surgery4. closed captioning is included on all television shows and videos5. fitting the individual with appropriately-programmed hearing aids6. traditional speech therapy to teach the individual how to speak7. specialized lighting and noise reduction alterations such as carpet8. counseling services provided to both the individual and the individual’s close communication partners9. smoke detector activation alerts that use flashing strobe lights or vibration10. use of assisted listening devices such as personal amplifiers, FM systems, and infrared systems
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