In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
Farmers and Welsh Government will come together today to plan for a healthy and vibrant agricultural industry.
- Statement from First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, on the Woolwich attack
- Historic garden is a breakfast TV star
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Future management of private water supply pipes
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
24 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
The Social Model of Disability
The Social Model of disability recognises that disabled people are people with impairments who are disabled by their environment. This Model is recognised by disabled people and was formally adopted by the Welsh Government in 2002.
Having been formally adopted by the Welsh Government, the Social Model of disability must be reflected in the language that we use and the policies and services which we deliver.
What is the Social Model of Disability?
The Social Model of Disability makes the important difference between ‘impairment’ and ‘disability’. It recognises that people with impairments are disabled by the barriers that commonly exist in a society. In simple terms, it is not the inability to walk that prevents a person entering a building unaided but the existence of stairs that are inaccessible to a wheelchair-user. In other words, 'disability' is socially constructed.
The Social Model of disability requires society to remove the barriers in order that all people have equality.
Who came up with the idea of a Social Model of Disability?
The Social Model was devised by disabled people to explain the barriers to equality which they experience. Experiences have shown the Welsh Government that most of the problems faced by disabled people are caused by the way society is organised and not by impairments. Barriers include people’s attitudes to disability, and physical and organisational barriers.
What is the UK’s position in terms of the Social Model of Disability?
In the United Kingdom the Disability Discrimination Act defines disability using the Medical Model - disabled people are defined as people with certain conditions, or certain limitations on their ability to carry out ‘normal day-to-day activities.’
However, the requirement for employers and service providers to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their policies or practices, or physical aspects of their premises, follows the Social Model.
Has the Welsh Government adopted the Social Model of Disability?
The Welsh Government adopted the Social Model of Disability in 2002. Although the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005 defines disability as having a physical or mental impairment, learning difficulty or a health condition that has substantial and long-term adverse effect in carrying out normal day-to-day activities, the Social Model advocates that it is society which creates attitudinal and physical disabling barriers. The Social Model is a positive approach to disability and focuses on removing barriers to equality. If anyone requires reasonable adjustments, in order to participate on a basis of equality, regardless of whether you meet the DDA definition, the Welsh Government is committed to meeting their requirements.
How does this affect my day to day work?
In 2 ways:
- Firstly, all references to disabled people should use language which is consistent with the Social Model of disability. 'Disabled person' or 'disabled people' is the appropriate way of describing people with impairments who are disabled by society. 'People with impairments' is acceptable when referring to impairment rather than disability. 'People with disabilities' should not be used. 'The disabled' should never be used, nor should the word 'handicapped'. Using the right language is important because it ensures the correct understanding of the issues.
- Secondly, and crucially - all policies and services should be designed in the light of the Social Model, ensuring that our actions do not cause barriers which disable people with impairments and prevent equality.
What is the Medical Model of Disability?
The Medical Model of Disability is the more traditional understanding of disability in which disability is equated with impairment. Disability is seen as a result of a physical condition, inevitably reducing the individual’s life chances. According to this model, a compassionate or just society should invest resources to attempt to cure ‘disabilities’ (impairments) medically or to improve functioning and make disabled persons more "normal". Under the Medical Model the medical profession has significant responsibility and potential for helping disabled people.
The Medical Model of disability sees the disabled person as the problem - the focus is on the impairment, rather than removing the barriers which affect the person.
How is the Social Model of Disability different to the Medical Model of Disability?
The Social Model is about equality and removing barriers which prevent disabled people from participating in society on an equal basis with their non-disabled peers.
What is the difference between Impairment and Disability?
A few examples of impairment include; someone who has had a leg amputated has impairment, someone whose learning difficulty makes it hard for them to remember things, someone who is visually impaired , or deaf, or who has epileptic seizures, unwanted muscular spasms, or a long term condition.
Disability occurs when a person is excluded by barriers affecting people with impairments, from something that other people in society take for granted. That might be the chance to attend an event, access some service or get involved in an activity. It might be to live independently, to earn a living, to be kept informed, or just to make choices for themselves.
People commonly assume that impairment causes the disability, but this is wrong. It is the choices society makes that causes someone to be disabled. Below are a few examples:
- Example 1 - a deaf person wanting to attend a conference. If no sign language interpreter, or loop system (depending on their requirements) is provided then the person is excluded – disabled. But with a signer operating alongside the speakers, or a loop system, the person can take part on an equal basis. They still have the same hearing impairment. But they are not disabled.
- Example 2 - a wheelchair user wants to get on a bus. If it has room and access for wheelchairs, they are fine. If not, they are disabled.
- Example 3 - a visually impaired person wanting to find out what the council is doing. If information is available on tape, they are enabled. If not, they are disabled.
Where can I get further information?
For further information and advice please see Disability Wales' website (External link).