This brings us to the end of the second chapter, so that means you are now more or less forty percent of the way through the guidebook. Well done for getting this far. We hope you are now getting a clear picture of why it is important to be aware of the issues we are covering. The next chapter covers very important issues too, related to the challenges involved in preventing abuse, but first let’s just sum up some key learning points from this chapter:
Although disability is commonly thought of as mainly, if not exclusively, a medical matter, it is important to recognise that what ‘disables’ people is not necessarily their impairment itself, but rather how society treats people with impairments.
Relying on a medical model can have the effect of excluding disabled people from mainstream society. This means that ‘disablism’ is a form of discrimination similar in many ways to racism and sexism. The results of this discrimination can be very negative for disabled people.
There are more empowering ways of relating to disabled people based on a ‘social model’ of disability, and this provides a much more positive basis for your work as a personal assistant. There are various mistakes of pitfalls that we need to be aware of to ensure that the personal assistant role is always a positive and helpful one.
So, you will soon be ready to make a start on Chapter 3. But, first, it's time for you to think over what you have learned from this chapter. Don't forget that there are no right answers to these questions and that it can be helpful for you to make some notes.
Pause for thought
What strikes you as most significant from the chapter you have just completed?
Is there anything that has surprised you? If so, in what way?
Is there anything that puzzles you or that you would like to know more about?
How might what you have learned help you in your role?
Taking your learning forward
A definition of disability and further information on the subject are to be found at the Equality and Human Rights Commission's website.
Information about disability rights is available from the gov.uk website.
A very helpful book about the social model of disability (and working with disabled people more broadly) is:
A book that provides an overview of equality and diversity is:
The Disability Wales website also has a lot of useful information.
Finally, you can use this quiz to check that you're ready to move on to Chapter 3.
Click here to continue