Rights and Rehabilitation

Rights and Rehabilitation

An analysis of disability rights and rehabilitation provides many similarities in their perspectives as well as differences. Both disability rights and rehabilitation perspectives focus n helping people living with disabilities in one way or other. Nonetheless they are both established by known and critical people and institutions. They also have goals aimed at meeting the needs of people with disabilities. The goals of rehabilitation perspective include a resumption of communication, self-care, psychological and physical well-being, return to work and social and emotional adjustment (Shakespeare et al., 2018). Similarly, disability rights perspectives have several goals including providing better access to health, school, employment opportunities, end discrimination neglect, abuse and violations for people with disabilities.

While the two perspectives are similar, they are also different in many ways. Disability rights perspective is rooted in the activism of the Disability Rights Movements. The most significant feature of disability rights perspective is the approach to disability as a social, culture, historical and environmentally determined experience, more so than a pathological impairment (Aarons, 2020). This approach is grounded especially by the social model of disability that externalizes the source of disability to the social and physical environment. Disability rights perspective offers a more holistic view of disability that has been relatively absent in rehabilitation perspective. Rehabilitation perspective is more dominated by medical and rehabilitation scholarship that focuses primarily on the physiological source of impairment and subsequent remediation of this pathology (Shakespeare et al., 2020). These views tend to individualize the experience of disability and suggest personal responsibility for negotiating disability-related issues.

Disability rights perspective emphasis on the social model works to correct the isolating force of the rehabilitation perspective by pointing to the systematic forces that affect disability experience (e.g. institutional arrangements, public policy, representations, historical treatment, etc) (Shakespeare et al., 2020). In this way, disability perspective also provides a conception of disability as a minority group identity rather than an idiosyncratic experience of deviance. Disability perspective also encourages viewpoints of people with disabilities to be heard in order to understand the insider position. The consequence of this has been the development of disability cultural production including the Disability Arts movement. Finally, by legitimizing a variety of disability approaches, disability rights perspective has been able to offer critical analysis of intersectional and global disability experiences.

With regard to civil rights, I think disability rights perspective is more appropriate when working with people who may have disabilities. The rights of the disabled are just as important as the right of any minority group seeking equal rights under the law. People with disabilities have one more reason why they need adjustments. Disability rights perspective provides them an opportunity for their problems to be heard and effective changes that can support their lives (Aarons, 2020). There are host of laws designed to make it easier for people with disabilities to lead a relatively normal life. While this perspective still needs improving, there is still a long way to go in fighting for the rights of people with disabilities. Legislators are comfortable with the laws in place and while they acknowledge the need for refinement, these perspectives will push them to do important things.





Aarons, D. E. (2020). The disability-rights perspective within the bioethics agenda. Nursing ethics27(4), 1056-1065.

Shakespeare, T., Cooper, H., Bezmez, D., & Poland, F. (2018). Rehabilitation as a disability equality issue: a conceptual shift for disability studies?. Social Inclusion6(1), 61-72.

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