Recommended age group: 11–14
Time required: 20 minutes

About this resource

The social model of disability is a way of viewing the world, developed by disabled people. It states that people are disabled by the barriers within the society around them and not their impairment or difference.

In this form time activity resource, students will be introduced to the concept of the social model of disability and analyse a series of scenarios through this new lens. It can be delivered as a form time session, a PSHE lesson starter, or as a whole school or year group assembly.

This resource also features a 4 minute video from ParalympicsGB athlete Sophie Christiansen. Hearing about the barriers which Sophie encounters when carrying out everyday activities, like travelling on a train or going to the shops, will leave students thinking on both the physical and mental impact of these barriers.  

Additional resources
This resource is supported by a second form time activities session, which builds on the learning from the first, shows students how removing barriers improves society for everyone, and gets them to think about the role that they could play in making this happen.

Explore the Be the Change - Form time activities 2 resource.

In the follow up lesson, students put everything they have learnt in the form time activities into practice, to create an action plan for how they can ‘Be the Change’ in their own school or wider community.

Explore the Be the Change Lesson Presentation resource.

Watch the video

ParalympicsGB equestrian Sophie Christiansen has competed in four Paralympic Games, bringing home eight gold medals. She was born with cerebral palsy and started horse riding at the age of six as a form of physiotherapy. Sophie has a master's degree in mathematics and fits her Paralympic training in around her job as a software developer in London.

In this video, Sophie discusses the barriers that she faces on a daily basis, as part of our Be the Change resources, exploring the social model of disability.