Disability Policy Must Espouse Medical as well as Social Rehabilitation

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Commentary | Open Access

Disability Policy Must Espouse Medical as well as Social Rehabilitation


  • Andrew J. Haig Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Michigan Health System, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA International Rehabilitation Forum, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, USA


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Abstract:  A confident statement in Social Inclusion by Mannon and MacLacLan that disability is not a health problem places doubt on the rationale of their otherwise well-written research agenda for disability studies. Both by definition and in practice disability is in part about the impact of health on a person's functioning. The consequence of this misperception among social policy makers is a decreased emphasis on the resources and research needed to build medical rehabilitation programs. This is especially true in lower resource countries where naive inclusion of medical rehabillitation within community based rehabilitation strategies has resulted in fewer resources and less expertise to deliver the distinctly different, and well validated services of a medical rehabilitation team. Any rational research agenda on disability must focus on disease and medical rehabilitation as well as the psychological, social, and environmental factors discussed in this article.

Keywords:  disability; health; social inclusion

Published:   27 December 2013


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v1i2.111


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