Redirected from Disabilities
As recently as the 1960s, left-handedness was seen as an abnormality. In schools in the Western world, left-handed children were forced to write with their right hand and punished if they did not comply. By the 1980s, left-handedness was accepted as simply a difference; a physical characteristic. Yet if tools such as scissors and corkscrews are only available in their right-handed forms, a left-handed person finds themselves disabled.
Thus, in the social model of disability, the disability is caused by society and the physical environment. Someone who is unable to walk and needs a wheelchair has an impairment; however, the social exclusion they may experience (lack of accessible transport, no adapted public toilets, buildings which are innaccessible) is caused by their environment, not their physical condition.