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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Windows of Reflection: Conceptualizing Dyslexia Using the Social Model of Disability

Macdonald, Stephen J (2009) Windows of Reflection: Conceptualizing Dyslexia Using the Social Model of Disability. Dyslexia, 15 (4). pp. 347-362. ISSN 1099-0909

Item Type: Article


The aim of this study is to develop perceptual knowledge of dyslexia from adults diagnosed with this condition. Historically, the dominant conceptual frameworks used to study dyslexia stem from psychological or educational practice. These disciplines predominantly draw on professional neuro-biological or educational knowledge that can be broadly summarized within a medical or educational model approach. Both the medical and educational models view dyslexia as resulting from a neurological and learning dysfunction. As such, only a small amount of research has attempted to locate dyslexia within a sociological context. This paper analyses the life narratives of adults diagnosed with dyslexia using the social model of disability. The author investigates the impact that disabling barriers have in education and employment for people with dyslexia. The implications of this are discussed, particularly how issues of disabling barriers and social-class structures affect the lives of people with dyslexia. The paper argues that social-class positioning and institutional discrimination (in the form of disabling barriers) shape the experiences of people living with this condition.

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Depositing User: Stephen Macdonald


Item ID: 6750
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ISSN: 1099-0909
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ORCID for Stephen J Macdonald: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2016 11:59
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2019 15:40


Author: Stephen J Macdonald ORCID iD

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences

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