Our ApproachOur Peer Support service is run by and for disabled people in the Bradford District.
There are two approaches to disability; the Social Approach which Peer Support promotes, and the more traditional Medical Approach.
We believe that a social approach offers the opportunity for greater equality and independence for disabled people. We also believe that the medical approach prevents equality for disabled people.
Peer Support encourages people and other organisations to work towards a Social Approach.
Below is a brief explanation of the two approaches.
A Social Approach to Disability – ‘A person is disabled by society’
This approach suggests that disability is not about people’s impairments, medical experiences or health backgrounds. Barriers come in many forms; for example:
a) inaccessible services
b) patronising or negative attitudes
c) low expectations of disabled people
d) poor education and employment opportunities
These barriers and attitudes can be challenged by both disabled people and non-disabled people.
This is why Peer Support’s support service is based upon a social approach to disability. We believe that this approach will bring about more equality and opportunities for disabled people.
A medical approach – this is the traditional approach to disability issues. ‘A person is considered disabled because of their impairment’
A medical approach suggests that disability is inevitable for people who have impairments and are not ‘normal’. Difficulties and barriers are things that disabled people must learn to ‘cope’ with. The world is meant to be for ‘normal’ people and disabled people are expected to be grateful for whatever they receive. Disabled people need to be ‘cured’ if they are to become ‘normal’ people and take part in all aspects of life.
Most services, organisations, legislation and decisions that affect disabled people are based on this approach. This places responsibility for change on disabled people.