Unconscious bias and the medical model: How the social model may hold the key to transformative thinking about disability discrimination

Bunbury, S. 2019. Unconscious bias and the medical model: How the social model may hold the key to transformative thinking about disability discrimination. International Journal of Discrimination and the Law. 19 (1), pp. 26-47. https://doi.org/10.1177/1358229118820742

TitleUnconscious bias and the medical model: How the social model may hold the key to transformative thinking about disability discrimination
TypeJournal article
AuthorsBunbury, S.
Abstract

This article seeks to gain access to a new way to engage with disability discrimination and the legal approaches to it by focusing on the two central models: the medical and social models. It discusses how the law has based the definition of disability on the medical model and suggests that this may strengthen some of the underlying factors that contribute to segregation and discrimination of disabled people. This article argues that the law should now switch focus to the social model, in an attempt to transform people’s attitudes towards disabled people and become a positive force to reduce discrimination. It makes reference to the reasonable adjustment duty contained in sections 20 and 21 Equality Act 2010, the Framework Directive and by way of comparison the American with Disabilities Act 1990. Relevant critical theories are integrated as a means to explore the conception and the hierarchy that exist between able-bodied individuals and disabled individuals.

KeywordsDisability, medical model, reasonable adjustments, social model, social exclusion
JournalInternational Journal of Discrimination and the Law
Journal citation19 (1), pp. 26-47
ISSN1358-2291
Year2019
PublisherSage
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1358229118820742
Web address (URL)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1358229118820742
Publication dates
Published28 Feb 2019

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