Valéria M. Souza, a fabulous scholar of disability and Portuguese literature, penned a typically fascinating post on her blog entitled “Complicating Disability Studies’ Relationship to medicine: It’s complicated.” There’s a lot there, and, as ever, I learn much from her posts. I usually agree almost completely with everything Valéria writes, but on this one, I have some points of disagreement. For purposes of disclosure, I generally self-identify as an able-bodied person, although I do have some invisible impairments for which I can quite easily pass (I find a basic distinction between impairment and disability useful, although I am not committed to any real metaphysical defense of the distinction).
In terms of the social/medical model of disability, I start – and I realize I am conversing with a literature scholar here! – with a question about the rhetorical purpose.