Do disabled people need a stronger social model: a social model of human rights?

Maria Jeanne Berghs, Karl Michael Atkin, Chris Hatton, Carol Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce the social model of disability by reflecting on its origins and legacy, with particular reference to the work of the Union of the Physically Impaired against Segregation. We argue that there has been a gradual rolling back of the rights and entitlements associated with the social model of disability. Yet no alternative for the social model has been proposed in response to such threats to disabled people’s human rights. Disabled people need a stronger social model that acts as a means to a society which enables and ensures their rights; the right to live a dignified life, as well as to live in an environment that enables people to flourish with disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1034-1039
Number of pages6
JournalDisability & Society
Issue number7-8
Early online date1 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • Disability
  • human rights
  • social model
  • social model of human rights

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