The rhetoric of the social model of disability is presented, and its basic claims are critiqued. Proponents of the social model use the distinction between impairment and disability to reduce disabilities to a single social dimension—social oppression. They downplay the role of biological and mental conditions in the lives of disabled people. Consequences of denying biological and mental realities involving disabilities are discussed. People will benefit most by recognizing both the biological and the social dimensions of disabilities.

You do not currently have access to this article.