People have sought to define and understand Disability through different “Models of Disability.” Outdated models portray Disability as a lens of deficiency. Their opposing principles have led to ableist stereotypes, language, behaviors, policies, and systems that Disabled People continue to fight against today. Newer models show Disability as a natural and necessary part of human diversity. Because Disability is contextual, a wide variety of models have been developed, each designating different groups as Disabled.
Learning about some of the models is essential for understanding where Disability biases come from and how they have shaped the experience of Disabled People. Click through the content below to learn about some of the most common models.