Disability, Culture, And Society

Discussion: Mental Health & Disablement

The social model of disability has trouble making sense of the relationship(s) between impairment and embodiment for people with psychiatric impairments. As a student once put it, “A set of stairs…a ramp…who cares if I can’t get out of bed because of depression?” This is a good point. DS scholars (Donna Reeve, Rebecca Lawthom, Margaret Price) have provided nuanced analyses and arguments to sure up the limitations of the social model (we’ve spoken of it as the social/relational model) but, again, despire all the developments that has been made at in everyday life, what does it say about the world that a standard of “mental health” is not only assumed but, when absent, seen as a reason to fear and shun?

While reflecting on and responding to these questions, discuss one or two insights you have gained from this course relative to intellectual, cognitive, and/ or developmental disabilities and people who live with these diagnoses. Second, apply the social model of disability to these impairment categories–paying attention to how societal access and/ or social policies influence the lives of people with these diagnoses.

Finally, check out this new TEDtalk, I’d love to hear what you all think…