The Open UniversitySkip to content

Families with children with disabilities - inequalities and the social model

Dowling, Monica and Dolan, Linda (2001). Families with children with disabilities - inequalities and the social model. Disability and Society, 16(1) pp. 21–35.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article suggests that families with children with disabilities experience a range of inequalities that families wth children without disabilities do not suffer. It draws on a recent qualitative study to illustrate the ways in which it is not just disabled people, but in the case of disabled children, whole families that suffer from unequal opportunities and outcomes. We draw on the social model of disability to show that the lives of these families are often characterised by financial hardship, stress and anxiety as a result of social barriers, prejudices and poorly conceived service provision. The social model of disability is usually drawn upon to illustrate the way in which social organisatiion disables people with impairments. In this instance, we illustrate the way in which social organisation disables not just the family member who has the impairment but the whole family unit. By applying this model of disability, new ways of creating practices and policies for these families can be developed which incorporate their views into the heart of the policy-making process.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1360-0508
Keywords: families; disability; children; services
Academic Unit/Department: Health and Social Care > Social Work
Health and Social Care
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 8791
Depositing User: Caroline Holland
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2007
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2016 16:41
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340