Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2022

Document Type

Honors Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Modern Languages and Literatures

Department Chair or Program Director

Marcel Rotter

First Advisor

Elizabeth Lewis

Major or Concentration



The flawed approach to the education of disabled students is an issue that plagues countless countries across the globe, and those in Latin America are no different. Bolivia and Chile are two vastly different countries from a cultural and economic perspective. However, one issue that they have in common is the manner in which they attempt to teach disabled students. There are two major models of disability; social and medical. The social model teaches that disabilities are not inherently negative traits to have, and that those who have them should be supported by society. It also emphasizes that the organization of society can be what causes disability to be such an issue to begin with. The medical model comments more on the more negative aspects of disability, and focuses on fixing the disabled rather than assisting them. Both Bolivia and Chile have numerous policies following the social model that state the necessity of accommodations for disabled individuals in the education system. These include accessible infrastructure, audiobooks, Braille books and other methods of teachings for those with sensory or intellectual disabilities. Despite the policies that have been put in place to support disabled students, Bolivia and Chile do not always adhere to them, causing both countries to lean more toward the medical model.