Humans have come up with many wonderful ways to help us to access the world beyond our physical capabilities as humans. We have created planes to fly long distances in short amounts of time, we have made spaceships to allow us to travel to uninhabitable planets and we have made scuba suits to help us breathe underwater.

We have also come up with strategies that help us in our everyday life! Glasses to help people see better, wheelchairs to help people get around and jackets to help us stay dry in the rain!

All of these things, big and small, help humans to access their environments better to live a fulfilling life. Everyone has the right to pursue their goals- if this means working for NASA or being able to mobilise independently, every person should have equal opportunity to access their environment.

The ‘social model of disability’ supports the idea that people with differences in their body, to what is considered ‘normal’, are not disabled by their body, but by the environment or by society that restricts them from accessing their needs and achieving their goals. Barriers could be environmental barriers, such as inaccessible buildings. Other barriers could be people’s attitudes, such as stereotyping, discrimination or prejudice. And a final barrier could be within an organisation, for example with policies and procedures which do not enable accessibility for all team members. 

The social model of disability is a movement that allows health care professionals to support a disabled person to modify their environment to assist them to access what is important to them, rather than to create an idea that there is something inherently wrong with their body. It supports us to foster a world of acceptance of differences where everyone can access the world around them. The social model of disability enables health care professionals to set no limits on what each individual they are working with can achieve.  There are no limits but only possibilities.  The key is finding the supports required for each individual to achieve whatever it is they would like to achieve in the world.  

Here at Hanrahan Health, we strive to approach each individual client with an open mind, with no limits on expectations or goals.  We work together with each client aiming for a strength-based approach, considering any barriers which might be impacting their growth, and clearing the way for each individual to thrive.