Creative Essay: What the Medical Model Can Learn From the Case of the Colorblind Painter: A Disability Perspective

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Sheryl Holt

Keywords

Mr. I, cerebral achromatopsia, artist

Abstract

The author of this reflection is someone who has lived with hemiparesis throughout her entire life, yet has chosen to work as a physical therapist and professor of neurological impairment within the rehabilitation field. She brings her perspectives to the evaluation of the color-blind painter, whose story was shared in the classic book of Oliver Sachs’ Anthropologist from Mars. Using the Brandt-Pope Model of enabling-disabling continuum, the reflection begs the questions so often avoided by the medical model, what if fixing the problem is not the sought answer? What if the normal curve has lost appeal?
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References

Brandt, E. N., & Pope, A.M. (1997). Enabling America: Assessing the role of rehabilitation science and engineering. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Damasio, A. R., Tranel, D., & Rizzo, M. (2001). Disorders of complex visual processing. In M. Marsel Mesulam, (Ed.), Principles of Behavioral Neurology, (pp. 321). Boston, MA: F. A. Davis.

Heilman, K. & Valenstei, E. (eds.) (2003).Clinical neuropsychology Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press.

Sacks, O. & Wasserman, R. (1996). The Case of the colorblind painter. In An anthropologist on Mars: Seven paradoxical tales. New York: Vintage.

Williams, S. (1999). Is anybody there? Critical realism, chronic illness and the disability debate. Sociology of Health and Illness, 21(6), 797-819.

PBS (Public Broadcasting Service). (2006). Georgia O’Keefe, about the painter [American Masters television series]. Retrieved from the PBS online http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/georgia-okeeffe/about-the-painter/55/

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