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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Children's experiences of disability: pointers to a social model of childhood disability

Connors, Clare and Stalker, Kirsten (2007) Children's experiences of disability: pointers to a social model of childhood disability. Disability and Society, 22 (1). pp. 19-33. ISSN 0968-7599

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The social model of disability has paid little attention to disabled children, with few attempts to explore how far it provides an adequate explanatory framework for their experiences. This paper reports findings from a two-year study exploring the lived experiences of 26 disabled children aged 7-15. They experienced disability in four ways - in terms of impairment, difference, other people's behaviour towards them, and material barriers. Most young people presented themselves as similar to non-disabled children: it is suggested they may have lacked a positive language with which to discuss difference. It is further argued that Thomas's (1999) social relational model of disability can help inform understandings of children's experiences, with 'barriers to being' having particular significance.