Notes On Disability And Empowerment

1170 Words5 Pages
Ademola Adeshina
Disability and Empowerment
This essay will discuss the term - learning disability or (learning difficulties – a term sometimes used interchangeably) and some possible causes. The nature and role of advocacy as a part of the empowerment process will also be considered. All these will be done in relation to Kelly – a person with Down’s syndrome as a case study. It will explain the progress made with Kelly by her support workers and how these can be further developed to ensure a more independent and meaningful life.
According to Paul Williams, ‘Learning Difficulty’ cannot be defined (social work with People with Learning Difficulties). Arriving at a generally acceptable definition of learning disability is a difficult
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The medical model sees learning disability as a condition that needs to be cure in order for disabled people to live a ‘normal’ life. The model sees the disabled people as the problem not the society. In contrast, the social model argues disability to be the result of the way society is organised. According to this model, the society disabled people by way of discrimination and barriers to allow equal participation. With regards to Kelly, we can conclude she has experienced the two models of learning disability. She has a condition known as Down’s syndrome, a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21 in the body cells. This condition is neither a disease nor an ailment (Down’s Syndrome Association UK). Down Syndrome, like Autism, Asperger, Tourette syndrome and Dyslexia are some of the many types of learning disabilities in the UK.

In an attempt to explain the level of Kelly’s disability, an in-depth explanation of the various levels of learning disabilities will now be examined. These can be grouped into four categories; Mild, Moderate, Severe and Profound.
Mild – people with mild learning disability are usually able to engage in conversation, they may be able to perform some basic activities on their own, they may need support to understand
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