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Social Performance and Disability

Discuss about the Dangerous Assumptions and Unspoken Limitations.

Disability can be defined as any recurring condition that limits daily activities (Goodley 2016); it can be permanent or temporary, disability in most instances brings about a significantly reduced capability of the victim to learning, human interaction, and communication (Goodley 2016). Disability studies basically describe the idea of disability as a cultural, social and political portent (Gilham 2016). Disability studies focus on understanding disability representation in the society. The disabled in the society share a common characteristic which is; how the society in which they are in treats them. The disabled can be the blind, deaf, slow learners, dump and those using wheelchairs. The UNCRPD has outlined articles that have been of great importance to the disabled. The articles are as discussed below.

This article recognizes that every person living with disability should be accorded equal rights in the community. The persons living with the disability shall get full involvement and interaction with the community with ease. The article outlines the following:

  1. People living with disability have a right to choose where to live and whom they live with, they should not be forced to live in seclusion or any other living arrangement.
  2. Persons living with disability need personal assistance to support living and participation in community building, this helps prevent loneliness or isolation from the community.
  3. Persons with disability have access to community facilities and services in equal measure.

Sociologist Erving Goffman mainly emphasized on the theatrical nature of our social performance, hence his depiction of dramaturgical. He was not a symbolic interactionist, but upon G.H.Mead influence on him, Goffman was intrigued. Mead helped Goffman distinguish between ‘I’ and ‘me’ thereby making Goffman understand himself.

The UNCRPD article tries to address the need for the persons with disability to be all round through inclusion and prevent segregation in the community. The true measure for any community is only found in how it treats the disadvantaged in the society (Valente 2017). Goffman, on the other hand, has defined through Mead, on LO the importance of understanding oneself for a better living with other people.

According to this article, all individuals living with disability have equal rights to accessing the highest level of health without any form of partiality. The article requires state parties to:

  1. a) Offer affordable health care including reproductive health and community based public health programs.
  2. b) Provide special health attention specifically for the people living with a disability. This is necessary to prevent further disabilities and complications especially among children and older people.
  3. c) Advice the health professionals to give their best when it comes to handling the disabled as others, this can be done through training and create awareness of ethical standards in the healthcare system.
  4. d) Ensure there is no any form of discrimination against people with disabilities on life insurance and health insurances covers, the covers should be provided fairly and without partiality.

When persons with disability are kind of being denied access to proper health, they may feel stigmatized or even segregated. Wolfensberger on his principle of normalization said: “The normalization principle means making available to all people with disability patterns of life and conditions of everyday living which are as close as possible to the regular circumstances and ways of life or society.” Health to the disabled is very fundamental and should not be debated against (Mirza 2017). Wolfensberger went ahead to define another principle, the principle of Social Role Valorization, he said “the application of what science can tell us about the enablement, establishment, enhancement, maintenance and/or defense of valued social roles for people.” LO The two aforementioned principles are essential and should be applied in order to realize a fair ground for the people with disability when it comes to health provision.

UNCRPD and Disability Rights

The UNCRPD article on education recognizes the rights of people living with disability on matters of education, education is important to all, more especially to the disabled, the disabled have a right to get a special education since their lifelong opportunities are limited. The effectiveness of special education is what defines the outcomes from the disabled (Baldwin 2017). The article outlines the following:

  1. People with disability to access proper development of the sense of dignity and self-believe.
  2. Persons with disability should be helped to develop their personality, talents, and innovations, education will help in developing their mental ability to live comfortably.
  3. Persons with disability should not be isolated from any education system based on disability. Free primary education should also apply to the disabled children.
  4. People living with disability be enabled to access free primary education and secondary education on equal basis together with others in the community.
  5. The disabled should be provided with reasonable accommodation as per the individual’s needs.
  6. Persons with disability should access special support and an enabling environment that support good academic performance and social development.
  7. The disabled should be facilitated to access Braille learning, augmentative modes, formats of communication and mentoring.
  8. Persons with disability should be helped to learn sign language and advance into linguistic knowledge, especially for the deaf.
  9. Providing the blind, deaf or the deaf-blind with the most appropriate modes of communication and an enabling environment for effective learning.

This article adds by recognizing the need for the state parties to employ professional teachers, especially the disabled to handle learning of the persons with disability, the state parties should also train professionals to facilitate operations in the institution. The training should address disability awareness and use of appropriate educational techniques to enhance proper learning. LO The disabled should also get access to tertiary, vocational, adult and lifelong education without discrimination.

Provision of education to the disabled is vital to the wellbeing of the individual; it is through education that the disadvantaged get advantages (Collins 2016). Goffman argued in his impression management theory that, once an individual has acquired living techniques, it is easy to cope up with anyone in the society, education to the disabled enables them to understand themselves and get to know what life has for them (Valentine 2016). In his 2002 journal (O'Brien 2002) sociologist, John O’Brien emphasizes the need to understand and engaging people on constructive arguments with the aim of solving challenges of the person’s life.

O’Brien centers his arguments on the basis of service values and service capacity, he also argues that personal planning challenges bring about faceoffs, planning with a disabled person, in the long run, brings faceoffs (O'Brien 2002). Therefore when it comes to the education of the disadvantaged in the society, it is important to ensure it is properly administered and no one feels segregated. LO The educational wisdom and values that the individual will receive should enable the individual to live to the fullest potential.

Persons with disability should have unrestricted access to an equal opportunity as others to taking part in cultural life, sports and recreation as others, sports has been singled out as one of the activities that impact positively on the lives of the disabled (Houdijk 2017). It is therefore undisputable that the state parties should be forefront in ensuring the following:

  1. People living with disabilities get access to information on television, theatre and films, this is to open their eyes to the international news of sports and learn various exercising formats.
  2. Provide access to cultural festivals and performances such as in museums, theatre, cinemas and libraries. Access to such places provides a sense of belonging and getting to know the real meaning of life and how to live.
  3. The disabled to have an opportunity to advance their creativity and artistic potential for their own benefits and to an extent the community too.
  4. That the state parties should put in place appropriate measures as per the international law ensuring proper shelter of properties and rights of the disabled from damage or partial access of the properties by the disabled. The persons with disability should be accorded equal opportunities to cultural materials and using the materials should be customized to fit their needs.
  5. Persons with disability should be entitled support of their specific cultural and linguistic identity such as sign language and deaf cultures.
  6. The disabled should be encouraged to participate in the cultural, recreational and sports activities without partiality at all levels, the state parties should be in a position to establish customized sporting facilities for the purposes of including the disabled to participate.
  7. Persons living with disability should be given an enabling platform where they can be in a position to organize and take part in the sporting event by themselves; this will encourage development of personal dignity and self-determination.
  8. Children with disability should have unlimited access to other children, they should play freely, sport and spend leisure time together; this should include activities in their schools.
  9. The disabled should have equal services from staff involved in offering tourism, leisure or sporting services.

The society should not label or recognize people as fundamentally different from others (Wolfensberger 2002). LO The labeling of people into unnecessary groups creates a form of imbalance in the society, some individual feeling superior to others calls for discrimination (Wolfensberger 2002). After the categorization of people in the society, the natural step that follows is nothing other than an advocacy fight for justices and equality.

Education and Disability

Wolfensberger’s normalization and the social role valorization principles describe how the disabled have been segregated and isolated in Africa. Upon Wolfensberger’s voice on the issues, much has changed and the understanding of what disability is has been taken into consideration well. LO The article helps in putting up a spirited fight for the sake of the disabled. Wolfensberger theories have also enhanced implementation of the general living techniques in the society.

The disabled must be protected from discrimination against matters to marriage, family, parenting and courtships. They should be accorded equal rights as others to choose whoever they want to live with or court with (Claes 2013). Discriminations of any kind should be it from family members or the general society should not be allowed.  The UNCRPD chapter outlines the following:

  1. The recognition of the right to marry for the age-to-marry persons with disability should be protected. Whenever a disabled individual intends to marry, he/she should be accorded necessary support to do so without discrimination.
  2. The disable should be able to freely make decisions and access information on children spacing, reproduction and family planning knowledge, the health facilities should be in a position to advice accordingly on the issue of reproductive health as they do to others.
  3. Persons living with disability have a right to retain their fertility on equal basis. The disabled should not be rendered infertile through any medical means without their consent, the state parties should come up with policies that outline legal actions against anyone for culpable of such offence.
  4. People living with disability have rights and responsibilities as others on matters of child adoption or guardianship. The disabled have also a right to exercise child upbringing responsibilities without restrictions whatsoever.
  5. Children with or without disabilities belonging to the disabled should not be isolated from the parents without proper legal prudent or their consent. There shall be no circumstance that can arise where a child can be separated from their parents on the excuse of disability.

Goffman in his ‘Presentation of Self in Everyday Life’ theory takes a case study of an actor and their audience. He questions himself on how actors handle disruptions amidst performance; he then comes to a conclusion that, the actors apply acquired techniques on how to subdue interruptions from their audiences (Goffman 2000). This can be transfigured to suit the disability and living. How the disabled can manage discriminations from the society in order to move on with life. Persons with disability should be enabled to access lifelong solutions to their plight (Lastuka 2016), when society misunderstands the disabled and tends to discriminate them, then the theory ‘presentation of self in everyday life’ offer sorts of solutions for the same.


Adams, R., 2015. Privacy, dependency, discegenation: Toward a sexual culture for people with intellectual disabilities. Disability Studies Quarterly, 35(1).

Ashby, C., Burns, J. and Royle, J., 2014. All kids can be readers: The marriage of reading first and inclusive education. Theory Into Practice, 53(2), pp.98-105.

Baldwin, PKAJMS, 2017, '4 Incorporating disability studies into the communication classroom through a high impact engagement nonverbal communication assignment', Pedagogy, Disability and Communication: Applying Disability Studies in the Classroom, p. p. 49.

Baglieri, S., 2017. Disability Studies and the Inclusive Classroom: Critical Practices for Embracing Diversity in Education. Taylor & Francis.

Claes, L,DSEAVHG, 2013, 'Disability studies and social geography make a good marriage: Research on life trajectories of people with intellectual disabilities and additional mental health problmes', In Emerging perspectives on disability studies , no. Palgrave Macmillan US, pp. pp. 97-129.

Collins, KM,CD,FB,GDASJF, 2016, 'Dangerous assumptions and unspoken limitations: A disability studies in education response to Morgan, Farkas, Hillemeier, Mattison, Macsuga, Li, and Cook (2015)', Multiple Voices for Ethnically Diverse Exceptional Learners, vol 16(1), pp. pp. 4-16.

Dixon, K. and Falcous, M., 2017. Ali Bowes is currently a Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport at Loughborough college. Educated at Loughborough University, she completed her sociology of sport Phd in 2013 on elite English women in sport, alongside alan bairner. ali is both the editorial assistant and a reviewer for the Asia Pacific Journal of Sport and Social Science. her. Sport and English National Identity in: A'Disunited Kingdom'.

Galis, V., Tympas, A. and Tzokas, S., 2014. Integrating Critical Disability Studies into the Historiography of Infrastructures. In New Directions in the History of Infrastructure.

Gilham, CMATJ, 2016, 'Inclusion Reconceptualized: Pre-Service Teacher Education and Disability Studies in Education', Canadian Journal of Education, pp. 39(4), P.1.

Goodley, D, 2016, 'Disability studies: An interdisciplinary introduction ', Sage.

Houdijk, HAJTW, 2017, 'Disability and rehabilitation on the move: mobility, exercise and sports for people with phsical disabilities'.

Lastuka, AACM, 2016, 'The effect of adaptive sports on employment among people with disabilities', Disability and rehabilitation , vol 38(8), pp. pp. 742-748.

Mirza, M, 2017, 'Disability-inclusive heathcare in humanitarian camps: pushing the boundaries of disability studies and global health'.

Moss, T., Landon, T.J. and Fleming, A., 2017. Sports and Disability: Enhanced Health, Self-Efficacy, and Social Inclusion Through Athletic Participation. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 13(3).

O'Brien, J, 2002, 'Numbers and faces. The ethics of person centered planning.', Person-centered planning: Research, pracice, and future directions, pp. pp. 339-414.

Pinquart, M., 2014. Achievement of developmental milestones in emerging and young adults with and without pediatric chronic illness—a meta-analysis. Journal of pediatric psychology, 39(6), pp.577-587.

Valente, JM, 2017, 'Anxiety as a Tool for Critical Disability Studies Fieldwork', Review of Disability Studies: An International journal, vol 13(2).

Valentine, JMACK, 2016, '[Dis] Ableing Educational Inequalities: A Disability Studies in Education Perspective ', Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, vol 12(1).

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