Defining Disability

Based on the Co-creation Model, disABILITYincites defines disability as:

Any restriction or lack of ability (due to physical, sensory, cognitive or medical impairment) that, because of environmental barriers, significantly impedes or prevents a person from performing an action or activity in the conventional manner or within the range considered mainstream by the general population.


For decades, the Medical and Social Models have served as frameworks to gain an understanding of disability issues, and also of the perspectives held by those creating and applying the models. The Models of Disability are influenced by two fundamental philosophies. The first serves as the basis for the Medical Model and the second serves as the basis for the Social Model. For reference see the slide show below.

disABILITYincites supports the Co-creation Model. This model views disability as a natural part of life and the human condition. Beyond the Social Model that denotes people with disabilities as customers of what society has to offer, the Co-creation Model views people with disabilities as valued customers of any entity whose deliverable is for public consumption.

Other tenets of the Co-creation Model are:

  • People with disabilities have the same aspirations as everyone else but their journey to get there is different.
  • With different journeys come different needs.
  • People with disabilities are the source of their own results when the barriers (societal, structural or environmental) that thwart their ability to live out their aspirations and participate fully in life are removed.
  • People with disabilities are equals to people without disabilities and worthy of inclusion in research that examines the unmet needs of the general population and sub segments and worthy of inclusion in company-customer value creation.


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