Equity: What Model Should We Use When We Talk About Autism?
Keywords:Autism, Disability Rights, Advocacy
In the Canadian disability rights movement, with regards to autism specifically, there has been a shift towards recognizing what is called a social model of disability. Through this movement, there has been a desire to incorporate that model into practice in governments, institutions, and healthcare. This desire also stems from advocate-centric and first-voice communities, where disabilities like autism are not viewed through a deficit-based lens. This article aims to discuss the often polarizing social and medical models of disability, comparing their uses in the disability world while weighing their respective benefits. Finally, an alternative model of disability that intersects these models is discussed as an alternative. This model is called the International Classification of Functioning, which recognizes three levels that impair a disabled person: the body, the person, and the environment. It is from this focus that policy can be developed to answer the calls of the pan-disability movement; to provide equitable changes across services and domains that are rightly deserved for Autistic and disabled people.
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