Life Proposes, Disability Disposes: An Overview on the Models of Disability with Special Reference to WHO Conceptual Models

Abstract: This paper aims to review and describe the models of disability i.e. the medical and the social model, the international classification of impairments, disabilities, and handicaps (ICIDH), as well as the International classification of functioning, disability, and health (ICIDH-2 or ICF). The terminology used was also the subject of review due to a lack of clarity about usage. After an in-depth literature review, it was determined that two terms are more widely used in journals, books and government documentation, namely ‘disabled people’ and ‘people with disabilities’. The WHO and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) definitions are accepted worldwide because they address and acknowledge the issues of disabled people. This article sheds light on the detailed conceptual framework of the ICIDH & ICF and the acceptance of ICF as the main disability guide at the global level. The applications of these models definitely help in understanding the health phenomenon called ‘disability’ and explain the paramount relationship between disabled people and society as a whole. This could be a ‘handbook’ for people at different levels in any organization to understand and be aware of different aspects of disability.


Authors: Ambuj Sharma, Anna Dunay
Keywords: disability, medical model, social model, ICIDH, ICF
Volume: 9
Issue: 3
Full article