Disability (Dedicated Semester 2011)

Fall 2011: Fontbonne University's 5th Dedicated Semester

Disability Research - A Few Places to Start

library owlHere are just a few places to help you get started:​

Disability Topic Page - Looking for a place to begin your research?  What topic should you choose? What are the different aspects to think about?  This article is a great place to begin understanding the topic.

Disability Rights - Another place to begin your research. With everything from primary sources, academic journals, images and reference sources, this Global Issues page will help lead you to useful information.


Getting Started: Social Sciences

These general reference sources are a good place to do background reading or begin your research. For a complete list of databases, see the Digital Resources List.

Subscription resources are available to Fontbonne students, faculty, & staff. Guests are welcome to visit us at the library.

Models of Disability

Understanding of disability as such often presents itself as one of two distince (though sometimes overlapping) approaches.

Medical Model
The Medical Model understands a disability as a physical or mental impairment of the individual and its personal and social consequences. It regards the limitations faced by people with disabilities as resulting primarily, or solely, from their impairments. This pushes people with disabilities into the passive role of patients. The aim of a medical approach is to make people with disabilities “normal” – which of course implies that people with disabilities are in some way abnormal. The issue of disability is limited to the individual in question: in case of disability, the disabled person has to be changed, not society or the surrounding environment.

Social Model
The Social Model, in contrast, understands disability as a relation between an individual and the social environment: the exclusion of people with certain physical and mental characteristics from major domains of social life. Their exclusion is manifested not only in deliberate segregation, but in a built environment and organized social activity that preclude or restrict the participation of people seen or labeled as having disabilities.

Shortcomings in the way society is organized mean that people with disabilities face specific types of discrimination and barriers to participation, including attitudinal (fear, ignorance, and low expectations influenced by culture and religion), environmental (physical inaccessibility affecting all aspects of life), and institutional (legal discrimination denying rights to marry, parent, attend schools, etc.)

Adapted from "Disability: Definitions, Models, Experience," from The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophyhttp://plato.stanford.edu.

See the Disabled World list of models for additional definitions and discussion: http://www.disabled-world.com

@ the Library

LibGuides @ Fontbonne

Other Guides you might find useful:

Jack C. Taylor Library • 6800 Wydown Blvd. • St. Louis, MO 63105
Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
t: 314-889-1417 • f: 314-719-8040
CHAT 24/7 | libraryhelp@fontbonne.edu

All guides licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.