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Living With a disability

Now that you are on your way to becoming an adult, you have a lot on your plate. Between school, relationships, and after school activities, you sometimes wonder how to juggle everything. As your life changes, so does the way you feel about and manage your disability. Some of you may be uncomfortable talking about your disability to others because you just want to fit in and be “normal”. Some of you may wish that you did not have a disability and could do some of the things your friends can do. You have a right to the way you feel, but sometimes not communicating your feelings and needs about your disability can get in the way of becoming independent.

The way you think about your disability may have a lot to do with the society in which you grew up. Lets talk about two of the most common ways disability is viewed in society and the differences between them. The first way of looking at disability is called the medical model. According to the medical model, a disability is a medical condition that must be cured. If a person has a disability they must be “fixed” in order to be a whole person. The second way of looking at disability is called the social model. Those who follow the social model of disability believe that the problem is not with the disability itself but with the way society views people with disabilities. They see having a disability as a natural part of the human experience and something which to be proud.

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