The social model of disability – outlined in the Introduction – argues that people are disabled not by their impairment or difference but by barriers in society. These barriers can be physical but, just as often, they are the result of other people’s attitudes. Removing these barriers – which can sometimes involve quite small modifications to our own behaviour or ways of thinking – can create greater equality and promote the inclusion of Disabled people.
- What the Jackdaw Saw by Julia Donaldson and Nick Sharratt
- Freddie and the Fairy by Julia Donaldson and Karen George
Just as thinking about everything we have in common is at least as important as identifying our differences, thinking about how we can include Disabled people by making positive changes is more beneficial than simply focusing on negative aspects of their experience.
- Think about all the examples of accessible environments we see around us at school, on streets, public transport and leisure centres. How do familiar things like ramps, lifts, hearing loops, large print books or textured pavements help to make the world fairer and more accessible for people with impairments?
- Consider whether, instead of focusing on how some people ‘can’t’ do things in the same way that others can, it can be helpful to think about how they do them differently.
- Do we sometimes change the way we do things to ensure that everyone can join in with activities?
- What does our school do – and what can we do ourselves – to try to include everyone?