Disability Models: Explaining and Understanding Disability Sport in Different Ways

  • Brett Smith
  • Andrea Bundon


How we explain and understand disability matters. In this chapter, we examine one way of explaining and understanding disability through a models approach. Two traditional models are first critically attended to. These are the medical model and then the social model. Having problematised these models, the next two more recent models are described, that is, the social relational model and the human rights model of disability. Throughout examples of research using models from sport are noted. We close with a set of future directions for understanding disability, sport, and physical activity. The directions offered for consideration include a focus on critical disability studies, disablism, and ableism.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brett Smith
    • 1
  • Andrea Bundon
    • 2
  1. 1.University of BirminghamSchool of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation SciencesEdgbaston, BirminghamUK
  2. 2.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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