Publication Date

March 2007


[Excerpt] In recent years, new ways of thinking about disability and disability rights have emerged in Ukraine. Most notable is the prevalence of the “social model” of disability that is popular in Western disability rights movements, whose representatives have actively promoted the social model in Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries. The social model, which is based on a minority group model, defines disability as social oppression, and pinpoints disabling political, social, and economic environments that perpetuate and reinforce dependency. Rather than individualizing disability as a personal tragedy, proponents of the social model draw attention to the “obstacles imposed on disabled people which limit their opportunities to participate in society”. These “disabling barriers” may include terminology and classification of disability, as well as a “wide range of social and material factors and conditions, such as family circumstances, income and financial support, education, employment, housing, transport and the build environment and more besides”.