19 Critical Soc. Pol'y 5 (1999)

handle is hein.journals/critsplcy19 and id is 1 raw text is: 

    University of Stirling
    University of Glasgow

    Models of disability: the relationship between theory
    and  practice   in non-statutory organizations

    Drawing  on a study exploring the meaning of the 'learning society' for
    adults with learning difficulties, this article examines the relationship
    between theory and practice in a number of voluntary and user organiz-
    ations active in the learning disability field. It begins by outlining the
    ethos of normalization and the social model of disability. Nine out of 10
    organizations taking part in the study explicitly or implicitly identified
    the social model as the main framework for their activities. However, sig-
    nificant inconsistencies in agencies' accounts are identified at theoretical,
    policy and practice levels. A number of possible explanations for these
    findings are examined.


That practice should be closely informed by  theory is a commonplace
assumption  in the 'caring professions'. Social work, however, has been
criticized for its relative isolation from theory, or for its tendency
towards eclecticism, and the absence of a wider theoretical framework
in which to order and make  sense of it all (Davies, 1991).
    In relation to people with learning difficulties, it has recently been
argued  that a theoretical impasse has been reached  in contemporary
social services, the field being dominated by orthodoxy rather than plu-
rality of thought (Simpson, 1995). The 'orthodoxy' identified is that of
normalization (outlined later): Simpson states that 'medical and insti-

    Copyright@ 1999 CriticalSocialPoicy58 0261-0183(199902)19:1
    SAGE Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New  Delhi), Vol. 19(1): 5-29: 006105.


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