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Factors influencing contemporary thinking on disability include:

  1. Denial of basic needs.
  2. People who need constant care
  3. Alienation from the rest of society.
  4. Ignorance of their potential to contribute to matters affecting society.
  5. Stigmatization.

There exist accepted ways of thinking in the society that view disability as a form of denial of basic values/needs. The disabled are viewed as people who need constant care, thus undermining their ability to participate in various activities of the society. They are often viewed as people who do not belong to the society in which they live further demoralizing their willingness to participate. There is also lack of visibility, ignorance and fear that have affected integration of the disabled in the mainstream society. Finally, there are effects resulting from stigmatization, stereotyping and prejudice.

The medical model is of the view that disability is a problem belonging to the disabled individual. In contrast, social model recognizes the potential of the society to reduce, and eventually remove, some the barriers that affect the disabled. For instance, a disabled on a wheel chair would require society’s assistance through construction of ramps to enable easy entrance to buildings with steps.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme

The National Disability Insurance scheme plays a vital role in improving the attitude towards people with disabilities. For example, awareness programs help to reduce prejudice. The problem with this scheme is that at the pension age one has to choose between NDIS or aged care system. This arrangement fails to recognize that disability continues past the statutory age.

Parents of young children with disabilities may have negative responses to the service system. This is because they feel stigmatized as parents of disabled children. The system provides services centered on the disabled children and not much attention is given to the parents. The system needs to incorporate services for parents as they face challenges bringing up a handicap child. This will help to reduce or eliminate the associated stigma leading to full participation of parents in assisting their disabled children.

There are different stereotypes that impact on the societal perception of individuals with impairments. Firstly, people with disability are at times viewed as partial people with lesser capabilities. This results in alienation and stigmatization. Secondly, a disabled person may triumph over challenges that may inspire others. This is because the impairment challenges the disabled to exhibit virtues they never thought they had. Thirdly, there exists a notion that disabled people need constant assistance. They become a burden to the family, which masters the art of awakening feelings of generosity in others. Fourthly, disability is viewed as something that can be treated except for tragic disabilities. Fifthly, people with disabilities are viewed as a bother to the society; especially those with mental disability. Finally, there is a stereotype that views disabled to be non sexual and they can never get into any meaningful relationships.

Integration of the Disabled to the Activities of the Society

Full integration of the disabled to the activities of the society is considered to be inclusive of individuals with a disability. Considering the first scenario, the gentleman with a guide dog can be seen to be helpless and pathetic. One needs to acknowledge his situation and guide him towards the queue without making him feel intimidated. As for the person on the wheel chair, people may view him or her as a dependent person. The group should instead welcome this person and incorporate him or her in the ongoing event.

The optimal service delivery model for people with disabilities should ensure the quality care for the disabled. This should include evidence-based policies and best service delivery decisions. There should also be a follow up program to ensure adherence to the treatment recommendations. The outcome is the ability of the disabled to live optimally in the society.

In integration a disabled student works with the same materials used by the rest of the students. On the other hand, inclusion involves incorporating a disabled student in a class, but the student may be working on a different curriculum. Inclusion may give more room for individualized attention helping the student to improve academically. Inclusion encourages social integration and pupils also make much progress on standardized measures of the language, cognitive, motor and social development. Families also have positive attitude towards inclusion as they can witness the child’s acceptance of the differences. The school community also benefits from increased interaction among pupils with or without disability brought about by inclusion.

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