Attitude of the Society

We are extremely thankful to Allah Almighty who has enabled us to complete this project on time. He provided us the sources to capture the knowledge and avail the opportunities in the world. / wish to thank my respected teacher by whose guidance / was able to accomplish this task. She guided me at each and every step. Her hard work and dedication was a source of inspiration to me.

In the end, I send our special gratitude to those whose names have not been mentioned but they have supported us at every step. INTRODUCTION PROBLEM STATEMENT: To find out the attitude of society towards the disabled and handicapped individuals.DEFINITION OF PROBLEM STATEMENT: This research work aims to find out the general attitude of society toward the disabled or handicapped individuals. It looks at people’s perceptions, views and prejudice against disabled people. The research includes a questionnaire designed to measure people’s attitudes said behaviours with respect to people with disabilities. For the purpose of this research, a disability is any condition which society defines a making it more difficult for a person to have a fulfilling life. Included are such situations as paralysis, loss of sight or hearing and significant mental or emotional disabilities.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

UNDERSTANDING DISABILITY Disability it increasingly being seen by academics as a form of Identity, (In use manner of race and sexuality) (Krauss, Mehnert, Nadler and Greenberg, 1993; Barnes and Shardlow, 1996; Gill 1997; Darling, 2003). To understand attitudes toward disabled people, It Is important to be clear as to what it meant by the word “disabled” and Its distinction from the term “Impairments’) A great deal of debate has taken place since the 1970’s over the meaning of these terms, with Bajekal, Hurries, Breman and Woodfield (2004) arguing “There is no single, accepted definition of what ‘disability’ means “.Various models of care have evolved for people with disabilities ranging from the charity and medical models (where others controlled and dictated the way people with disabilities should live), to the current social model where people are determined to how impairments and are disabled by barriers present in modern society (Oliver, 1990).

flex barriers may be physical (such as access to transport or building), financial, or attitudinal with discrimination with prejudice shown to people who we disabled (Ministry of Health 2001).Factors such as war which increased the number of visibly disabled people, the actions of parents and health professionals, and latterly the action of disabled people themselves have given a higher profile to the issues facing people wish disabilities For the purposes of this research and discussion, ‘disabled’ is used as a generic term Inclusive of all Intellectual and physical impairments that may impact on an individual’s life to a greater or lesser degree. Impairment Li seen as a medically Imposed condition while disability is the social disadvantage that results firm use impairment (Barnes, Mercer & Shakespeare, 1999; Beatson, 2001).MODELS OF DISABILITY Disability has been explained in the light of three models: The traditional model The medical model The social model THE TRADITIONAL MODEL OF DISABILITY Traditionally, in many cultures around the world people with physical, sensory or mental impairments were thought of as wider the spell of witchcraft, possessed by demons, or as penitent sinners, being punished by God for wrong doing by themselves or their parents. THE MEDICAL MODEL The medical model sees disabled people as the problem.

They need to be adapted to fit into the world as it is.If this isn’t possible, then they should be shut away in a specialized institution or isolated at home, where only their most basic needs are met. The emphasis is on dependence, backed up by the stereotypes of disability that bring out pity, fear and patronizing attitudes.

Usually, the impairment is focused on, rather that the needs of the person. The power to change disabled people seems to lie with the medical and associated professions, with their talk of cures, normalization and science. Often, disabled peoples lives are handed over to these professionals.Their decisions affect where disabled people go to school; what support they get; where they live; what benefits they are entitled to whether they can work; and even, at times, whether they are born at all, or allowed to have children themselves. The individual or medical model of disability tends to regard disability as a personal tragedy that has befallen the individual and therefore a ‘cure’ is sought (Oliver, 1990; Oliver, 1996 b). This places the individual with impairment into a ‘sick role’ whereby others may make decisions about the quality of that person’s life (Pfeiffer, 1998).DEFINITIONS ACCORDING TO MEDICAL MODEL: Within the United Kingdom the legal definition of disability under the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) is: “.

.. a person has a disability for the purposes of the Act f he has a physical or menial impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to day activities” (Doyle, 1996). Impairment: In the context of health experience, an impairment is any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function.Disability: In the context of health experience, a disability Li any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or wit kin the range considered normal for a human being.

Handicap: In the context of health experience, a handicap is a disadvantage for a given individual resulting from an impairment or a disability, that limits or prevents the fulfillment of a role that Is normal (depending on the age, sex social and cultural factors) for that individual. ” (Wood, 1980)In addition, the Disability Movement points out how the built environment imposes further limitations on disabled people. Medical model thinking would say these problems are due to the disabled person‘s lack of rehabilitation. The Disability Movement perceives the difficulties disabled people experience as the barriers that disable them and curtail their life chances. These difficulties include in school and higher education, in finding work and suitable work environments, accessing leisure and entertainment facilities, using private and public transport, obtaining suitable housing, or in their personal, family and social Ife.

THE ‘SOCIAL MODEL’ In recent years, the disability movement has advocated a different way of looking at disability, which they call the ‘social model’. This starts from the standpoint of oil disabled adults’ and children’s right to belong go and be valued in their local community. Using this model, you start by looking at the strengths of the person with the impairment and at the physical and social barriers that obstruct them, whether at school, college, home or work.The ‘Social model defines ‘Impairment’ and ‘disability’ as very different things: “Impairment is the loss or limitation of physical, mental or sensory function on a long term or permanent basis. ” “Disablement is the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the normal life of the community on an equal level with others due to physical and social barriers.

“(Disabled People‘s International 1981). Impairment and chronic illness exist and sometimes pose real difficulties.Supporters of the disability movement believe that the discrimination against disabled people is socially created and has little to do with their impairments, and that, regardless of the type or severity of their impairments, disabled people are subjected to a common oppression by the non- disabled world Disabled people are often made to feel it’s their own fault that they are different. If some part, or parts of your body or mind are limited in their functioning, this is simply an impairment. It doesn’t make you any less human.

But most people have not been brought up to accept all people as they are; in other words, to value difference. Through fear, ignorance and prejudice, barriers and discrimination develop which disable some people. These are often reinforced by images in the media. Understanding this process allows disabled people to feel good about them and empowers them to fight for their human rights. The ‘social ‘approach suggests disabled people’s disadvantage is due to a complex form of institutional discrimination, as fundamental to society as sexism, racism or heterosexism.

The disability movement believes the ‘cure’ to the problem of disability lies in changing society. Unlike medically-based cures, this is an achievable goal and benefits everyone. The obsession with finding medically-based cures also distracts people from looking at the causes of impairment or disablement. In a worldwide sense, most impairments are created by wars, hanger, lack of clean water, exploitation of labour, lack of safety, and child abuse and these should be addressed more robustly, rather than just responding to the Injuries and impairments that result from them.The social model of disability, Oliver (1996a) argues, does not deny the problems or barriers faced by disabled people, but places the responsibility for those problems within society, rather than with the individual. Hence, the social model of disability is a break away from the victim-blaming individual/medical model, suggesting that disability is a form of social oppression (Tregaskis, 2002; Barnes and Mercer, 2004) CHALLENGING PREJUDICE Social model thinking has important implications for the education system, and particularly primary and secondary schools.

Prejudiced attitudes toward disabled people and all minority groups are not innate. They are learned through contact with the prejudice and ignorance of others. Therefore, it is appropriate that the challenge to discrimination against disabled people should begin in schools. The fight for the inclusion of all disabled people, however severe their impairments, In one mainstream social . system, will not make sense unless people understand the difference between the social and medical models of disability. The social model has now been adopted by the World Health OrganizationWHO IS DISABLED People who have an impairment and experience some form of social exclusion as a result are disabled people. Many people have impairments, such as those who use glasses or contact lenses.

They are not usually discriminated against. Whereas, people who are deaf and use hearing aids are usually discriminated against by barriers in communication. Therefore, disability includes people with: Physical impairments; Sensory impairments (deaf people, blind people); Chronic illness or health issues, including HIV and AIDS; All degrees of learning difficulties;Emotional, mental health and behavioral problems. EXTENSION OF DEFINITION The definition also includes people with hidden Impairments, such as: Epilepsy; Diabetes; Sickle cell Anaemia: Specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia; Speech and language impairments: Children labeled as ‘delicate ‘ People who identify’ as ‘disfigured’; People of diminutive stature: People with mental distress. NORMALIZATION Within the field of services for people with learning difficulties / disabilities. normalization principles have played an important role (Stalker, Baron, Riddell and Wilkinson. 999), despite being dogged by misconceptions (Perrin and Nirje, 1989). Normalization therefore deserves some attention within the context of this chapter.

One of the found view of the normalization principles, Wolfensberger, says: “Normalization implies, as much as possible, the ace of culturally valued means In order to enable, establish and/or maintain valued social roles for people. ” (Wolfensberger and Tullman. 1989) Deeley (2002) adds: “Normalization promotes the independence of people with learning disabilities as far as is possible or feasible.Ii is believed that this can be most successfully achieved through making personal and individual choices about their own lives. By promoting individual autonomy through choice, the prevailing orthodoxy requires the professionals to provide people with learning disabilities with information about the options available to them. ” (Deeley, 2002) Hence, according to Deeley. normalization principles are grounded in ensuring disabled people have access to the same opportunities ax other people. ATTITUDES TOWARDS DISABLED PEOPLE ATTITUDES:Attitudes have been defined in a variety of ways over the past century, and have various meanings as a result of having bridged both psychology and sociology.

All port (1935) views attitudes as a neuro-physiological disposition, defining an attitude as “A mental and neural state of readiness organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence upon the individual’s response to all objects and situations with which it is related”. Whereas Oppenheim (1992) sees an attitude as: “.. .a state of readiness, a tendency to respond in a certain manner when confronted with certain stimuli. (Oppenheim, 1992) Alternatively, Breckler and Wiggins (1989) offer as a definition of an attitude in line with All port ‘s earlier definition as: “.

.. mental or neural representations, organized through experience, exerting a directive or dynamic influence on behavior. ” (Brecker and Wiggins. 1989) ATTITUDES TO DISABLED PEOPLE Many attitudes toward disabled people are influenced by the culture from which the observer come,, with culture often playing a major role in shaping society’s beliefs and behaviour toward, disabled people.The complexity of attitudes and attitude development has’ created a wide range of perspectives and theories varying from how people develop and change their attitudes to the impact of those attitudes on their behavior and interactions with other people.

Attitudes are closely linked with values, ethics, moral reasoning, and choice when considering the affective skill development of an individual, ‘represent a feeling)or or against a person, object, belief or event’ (Reilly & Oermann, 1992,), and can be general or specific (Gaining, 1,991).Attitudes toward disability may reflect the stigma and negative perceptions held by society (Gordon, Minnes & Holden, 1990), lack of social exposure to disabled people (Lee & Rodda, 1994), and the influence of stereotyping and frequency of contact (Gething, 199! ; Wishart & Johnston, 1990). Changing attitudes in the long term is a difficult exercise and Livneh (1982) suggests that historical, experiential, social, visual, demographic and personality factors combine to contribute to attitude development.

Attitudes have a cognitive, behavioral and affective component which may not necessarily be congruent with one another. Many persons behave in society desirable ways so as to not draw critical from members of society. For example, an individual who perceives persons with disabilities as economic burdens to the welfare system may act to be friendly when encountering someone with a visible disability on an elevator perceived as a behaviourd gesture of a positive attitude), however, may have strong negative feelings toward this population (affect).Wyer and Lambert (1994) define ‘person perception” as the process by which people from impressions and make judgments about the traits and characteristics of others.

These perceptions involve evaluating an individual’s physical appearance and relationzing why an individual looks, dresses, and appears as he/she does. Person schemas are formed where we then attempt to fit an individual into some preexisting stereo type we have about the population in question. Subsequent to deriving certain formulations with regards to our impressions, we may then behave in certain ways toward such an individual(s).STEREO TYPICAL ASSUMPTIONS TOWARDS THE DISABLED Stereotypical thinking is a rigid, traditional thinking. In case of attitude toward disabled individuals, this type of thinking is very common. The misconceptions might be based on both a deficit assumption and a halo effect. People tend to pay attention only to the constraints and limitations of people with a disability.

The disabling implications of a given impairment are magnified because of misunderstanding and erroneous inference. For examples, people with a disability are perceived as deviant, ccident prone and appropriate for repetitive work. Furthermore, the characteristics of a minority of people with a disability are taken to be the stereotypical representation of people with a disability in general. For example, people with mental illness were assumed to be deviant and violent.

PERSONAL AND SOCIAL LIVES Experiences of family life vary between disabled people who had experienced onset early or from birth and those whose disability had later onset. Those with early onset, or who are disabled from birth, have mixed experiences of their early childhood and family We.Whilst some recall a relatively stable and happy childhood others have experienced chaotic or unstable family lives. Growing up with a disability is recalled differently amongst those with early onset. Some recall little or no impact on their experiences as a child. However, some recall that being disabled as a child has affected their childhood years. Analyze suggested that two factors account for this difference.

Firstly, self-image, those who think of themselves as disabled are more likely to recall disability as having affected their early years.This is in marked contrast to those who did not think of themselves as disabled when they were a child or who described being treated normally or no differently to their non disabled friends or family. The second factor is the practical and emotional difficulties resulting from being a disabled child. Those who required ongoing medical treatment or personal care report acute memories of their activities being constrained by their disability. Disabled people experience the full range of adult experiences. These include leaving home, forming new relationships, family formation, parenthood, divorce and bereavement. BIRTH AND CHILDHOODIt is a moral question as to whether a ‘disabled foetus” should be able to come to term and be brought into the world.

Women are no more positive than men when it concerns carrying through a pregnancy leading to a disabled child Youth, in answering the general attitude questions, have more negative attitudes about the disabled than older adults. When children are born – disabled or not – it is another question as to whether disabled parents are better or worse than others at raising children. Here it is the negative views which predominate, especially as concerns disabled parents who are mentally disabled or mentally ill.However, not all adults have a definite opinion on this question. Women are more positive than men towards the idea of disabled parents.

Among others especially pensioners and early retirees — there is a tendency to the more negative towards the disabled as parents. Youth 0 those pursuing higher education, for example do not have the least negative attitudes. Hence, many youth do not have negative opinions about the birth of disabled children, but would rather not see these children being raised by their disabled parents. ASSISTANCE AND CARENearly all respondents have an opinion about offering assistance to an actual or hypothetical disabled family member or friend. The vast majority believe that they are ready to offer temporary practical aid and emotional support and care, while fewer are open towards a disabled person’s temporarily moving into one’s home for up to a month’s duration. Every second adult is prepared to offer the maximum degree of aid when it is a case of helping at least two kinds of disabled persons: a relative, friend and/or neighbour – with practical assistance, emotional support and temporary moving in.Approximately equal proportions of men and women are prepared to offer the maximum aid when it is a case of assistance and care.

However, age plays a role, and not surprisingly, it is elderly who are least willing to help. At their age, many elderly have their own need for assistance and therefore find it more difficult to help others. In other contexts, the younger respondents – especially the young men — have shown themselves to be most negative about the disabled.

This does not apply, however, to helpfulness toward handicapped relatives and ADULT LIFEThere are various ways of discriminating against disabled adults who are thereby excluded from social integration. Very few people will meet a new disabled family member entirely without reservations. Most often, the specific attitudes which appear are predominantly neutral. This applies roughly equally to both men and women. Will a disabled person be accepted as an equal passenger, if he or she, for example, travels on a train? Nearby all respondents can easily picture this situation.

Only a minority – about equally divided between men and women have no problems about having a disabled co passenger.Many have clear inhibitions about the kind of social contact. It can be silent or spoken and do not desire to be seated next to, for example, someone with a spastic disorder, mental disability, or an agitated manic depressive. Youth especially younger men, tend to have more reservations than the older respondents. THE DISABLE AT THE WORK PLACE A significant majority state that disabled persons ought to have just as much possibility.

Very few are of the opinion that the possibilities of the disabled ought not to be just as good.The most negative views are found among those employed respondents with only a primary school education, while the highly educated workers are among the most positive toward the possibilities of disabled workers to obtain jobs,. A final question concerns receptivity toward working together with and helping disabled colleagues. When the question is experienced as personally relevant, nearly till have an opinion about it. A significant majority of the working respondents are receptive toward entering into cooperation with and eventually assisting a disabled colleague.At the same time, a significant minority is negative or simply rejects such cooperation.

This is especially true of the youth and younger men. About half the employed respondents have cross cutting positive attitudes toward disables colleagues. The predominantly, though not overwhelmingly, positive tendency is underlined by the fact that only few employed men in the ages of 18 to 34 years of age have the most negative views about the disabled in the workplace. SOCIAL CONTACT Social contact refers to interaction with disabled people socially, through family, in employment or during clinical experiences.Social contact is not a homogeneous construct.

Social contact varies in terms of duration, intensity, nature and willingness of those involved. On a broad, general level it seems that social contact is associated with more positive impressions. But more detailed analysis indicates a much more complex relations hip. Duration of contact may also be an issue; a one-shot programme could have a profound effect in either direction. Prolonged contact (for instance in the classroom or family) could lead to genuine understanding and respect, or a sense of frustration and irritation.Contact may also be passive (listening to a talk in morning assembly given by a visually impaired person; watching a television programme) or interactive (playing with a hearing impaired schoolmate in recess). We may need to control further the different dimensions in social contact before we can gain an accurate understanding into how and in what ways it affects attitude formation and social acceptance. EDUCATION AND TRAINING The main advantages of specialist schools discussed in the in-depth interviews are that they often provide one-to-one teaching and do not make children feel different to their classmates.

However there is much debate about the merits and disadvantages of the two forms of schooling. Non-disabled people were twice as likely to have studied at higher education as disabled people. ACCESSING GOODS, SERVICES AND SUPPORT The use of care or personal support services is prominent amongst older disabled people and those with mobility problems or chronic medical conditions. People feel that information on such services is poor and find it difficult to establish what support is available for them in their area. However, in general, those who receive assistance am positive about their experiences.There are mixed personal attitudes towards accepting or rejecting financial assistance among disabled people in the qualitative interviews. Those who accept state assistance either feel that they were eligible for it (for example felt that they had worked before and paid taxes) or they believe it is fair for society to offer assistance to people facing barriers.

Some disabled individuals feel that the medical support they had received was excellent, others are less satisfied. People are generally aware of what was available and know how to access the medical and healthcare services.Long waiting lists for medical treatment seem to be tolerated.

ACHIEVING SOCIAL INCLUSION There is overwhelming support for greater efforts to achieve equality for disabled people. The key strategies for change include: improved education about disability; improved media representation and publicity; improved physical access, transport and financial support; strengthened legislation; and increased integration of disabled and non-disabled people. The government is seen as the prime agent for ensuring this change though a wide range of other organizations are also seen as responsible.

Effective dialogue between the government, disability groups and other key social institutions is seen as fundamental to any future progress. DISABLING ATTITUDES Disabled people report that they experience a range of these altitudes, and non-disabled people report that they express a mixture of these attitudes. Hypothetical situations were used to explore how people react to disabled people.

Mast people understood about situations in which they encountered disabled people, or felt genuinely concerned or sorry for the disabled person in question.Very few reported feeling annoyed or irritated, though rather more said they could feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Most people were inclined to help out where they could or when asked in these hypothetical situations. However, situations involving a person with a mental health problem produced more mixed reactions than those involving physical or sensory impairments.

The majority of both disabled and non-disabled people feel that prejudice against disabled people is common. ignorance, a lack of awareness and fear of difference are cited as the primary reasons. Disabled people experience prejudicial attitudes in a number of ways.These include the assumption that disabled people cannot talk or think for themselves, assumptions made about their abilities, being rejected or avoided, verbal attacks or jokes, and even bullying. MEASUREMENT OF ATTITUDES An attitude scale is designed to provide a valid, or accurate, measure of an individual v social altitude. However, as anyone who has every ‘faked” an attitude scales knows there are shortcomings in these self report scales of attitudes.

There are various problems that affect the validity of attitude scales, However, the most common problem is that of social desirability.Socially desirability refers to the tendency for people to give “socially desirable” to the questionnaire items. People are often motivated go give replies that make them appear “well adjusted”, unprejudiced, open minded and democratic. &lf report scales that measure attitudes towards race, religion, sex etc. are heavily affected by socially desirability bias.

Respondents who harbor a negative attitude towards a particular group may not wish be admit to the experimenter (or to themselves) that they have these feelings. Conic queenly, responses on attitude scales are not always s 100% valid.

Author: Elsie Lawrence


I'm Mia!

Don't know how to start your paper? Worry no more! Get professional writing assistance from me.

Check it out