Anti-Black racism (ABR)

Anti-Black racism (ABR) is defined as “prejudice, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping and discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and its legacy” (

Charity Model

The charity model conceives disability as a deficit that dictates the benevolence of strangers. It is exemplified by advertising campaigns showing persons with visible impairments like cleft lip, amputation, blindness, and leprosy.

Disability Justice Model

Disability Justice Model/Framework examines disability and ableism with an intersectional approach. It understands disability as it relates to other identities and various systems of oppression.

Legal, Rights-Based Model

The legal, rights-based model of disability centres on a universal conception of human rights as codified in the International United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (United Nations). Persons with disabilities are rights-bearing persons capable of claiming their rights and making decisions based on free and informed consent (United Nations, n.d.). In other words, the Convention affirms the motto “No decision about us without us.”

Medical Model

The medical model centres on diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. It is made possible by networks of medical and scientific researchers, clinical practitioners, corporations, and professional associations that design, produce, test, and approve medical technologies and practices designed to, at best, cure and restore to “normal” and, at worst, do no harm. This model reinforces binaries like normal/abnormal, typical/deviant, disability/ability through measurement and classification systems.

Social Model

The social model emerged in the 1970s, and challenges medicalized and individualist accounts of disability. It differentiates between disability from impairment. Impairment is the physical/material reality (a medical condition affecting a body); disability is socially constructed through discriminatory attitudes and practices that deny people’s access to social and physical spaces and are not the result of individual deficit.

Supercrip Model

The supercrip model promotes heroic tropes embodied in both fictionalized characters and persons. For example, Matt Murdocks Dare Devil and Terry Fox. Although this model tries to displace stereotypes of pitiable, powerless victims with a positive, idealized image, it does not lend itself to nuance, contradictions, or complexity. These narratives often neglect the circumstances that enable supercrips to be exceptional including race, gender, or class privilege and devalue the lives of persons with disabilities which do not match up with the glorified image (Schalk 80).


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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Practice Copyright © 2022 by Experiential Learning Hub, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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