ABSTRACT

In Chapter 1, we outlined a relatively new conceptual framework that has profoundly influenced our understanding of and approach to aphasia therapy: the social model of disability. This model represents disability in terms of the socially constructed barriers which spring up around people with impairments, rather than as directly resulting from the impairment itself. Examples of some of the external barriers which people with aphasia face were described, and these can be categorised in terms of environmental, structural, attitudinal and informational factors. In keeping with this conceptualisation of aphasia, we try to work together with clients to address the socially constructed limitations of opportunity which they face. This accords with the proposal by French (1994, p15) that professionals should ‘act as supportive enablers, actively sharing their expertise and knowledge while recognising the expertise of disabled people and learning from them.’