The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high-quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population, and its local, national and global communities. To fulfill this mission, Disability Services recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity and appreciates disability as an integral part of society.
A New Paradigm of Service Provision
In the past, many Disability Service providers developed their service and philosophical constructs on the tenets of the medical model. It may have been effective at one time in providing access, but it reinforces a “separate but equal” system rather than full inclusion within a community of peers. It does not provide an avenue for the development of self-determination or disability pride for the person receiving services. Through on-going exploration and discussion, the Association of Higher Education and Disability is providing a forum for its members and the students served to adopt the socio-political model of disability as well as Universal Design principals.
Conceptual Models of Disability
Medical Model (OLD)
Disability is a deficiency or abnormality
Being disabled is negative
Disability resides in the individual
The remedy for disability related problems is cure or normalization of the individual
The agent of remedy is the professional
Interactional/Socio-Political Model (NEW)
Disability is a difference
Being disabled, in itself, is neutral
Disability derives from the interaction between the individual and society
The remedy for disability related problems is a change in the interaction between the individual and society.
The agent of remedy is the individual, an advocate, or anyone who affects the arrangements between the individual and society'
*Carol J. Gill, Chicago Institute of Disability Research
Association on Higher Education and Disability
For more information concerning the philosophy of Universal Design visit any of these links: