“Disability is the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the mainstream life of a community on an equal level with others due to physical and social barriers”.
The British Council of Disabled People
This suggests that the removal of attitudinal, physical and institutional barriers will improve the lives of disabled people, giving them the same opportunities as others on an equitable basis. Taken to its logical conclusion, there would be no disability within a fully developed society.
It places the onus upon society and not the individual; it focuses on the needs of the individual whereas the medical model uses diagnoses to produce categories of disability, assuming that people with the same impairment have identical needs and abilities.