Disability is caused by the way society is organized and not by a person’s impairment, UNICEF says

14 June 2017
Children holding banners with anti-stigma messages
UNICEF/Geo-2017/Svanidze

TBILISI. 14 June. 2017. On the Day of the Protection of Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Georgia, UNICEF calls up to speed up the process of moving to the social model of disability within the assessment and status determination systems.

In Georgia, the current state system on disability assessment and status determination is still based on the medical model which says that people are disabled by their impairments or differences. Under the medical model, these impairments or differences should be 'fixed' or changed by medical and other treatments, even when the impairment or difference does not cause pain or illness.

The social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organized, rather than by a person’s impairment or difference. It looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict life choices for disabled people. When barriers are removed, disabled people can be independent and equal in society, with choice and control over their own lives.

The Ministry of Labour, Health, and Social Affairs through support of UNICEF has made commitment to establish the social model of disability. For this purpose, UNICEF has invited the international expert, one of the co-authors of the International Classification of Disability, Functioning and Health for Children and Youth, and together with the Ministry and local partners has been working on developing the assessment methodology identifying the functional and social needs and ability of children. The new methodology will be piloted at the end of 2017.

Media Contacts

Maya Kurtsikidze

Communication Officer

UNICEF Georgia

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