cate people with no disabling conditions. This feature of the model will allow for ''complete" rehabilitation (designating also both the origin of the disabling process and the termination of the enabling process).
Transitional Factors In the new model, the committee defines the converse of risk factor as "enabling factor." Risk factors are phenomena that are associated with an increase in the likelihood that an individual will move from left to right in the new model, that is, from no disabling condition toward functional limitation. In contrast, enabling factors are phenomena that are associated with an increase in the likelihood that an individual will move from right to left in the new model, that is, toward less limitation.
The general types of enabling factors are the same as the general types of risk factors, that is, environmental (social, psychological, and physical) along with lifestyle and behavioral. So, for example, access to appropriate care and assistive technology would be an enabling factor (social environment), but lack of access would be a risk factor, or a disabling factor; curb cuts and universal design would be enabling factors (physical environment), but a lack of these would be disabling factors; the age of the person is a biological factor that can be either enabling or disabling; and compliance with pharmaceutical prescription regimens would be enabling, whereas drug abuse would be a disabling (behavioral and lifestyle) factor.
Thus, since both disabling and enabling factors affect transitions between the stages of the model, the committee groups them together as "transitional factors."
The Environment The environment is represented as a flexible three-dimensional mat in the new model. The strength and resilience of this mat are proportional to the quantity and quality of accessible support systems and the existence of various barriers. Stronger mats equate with more supportive environments, for example, access to appropriate health care, the availability of assistive technology and social support networks, and receptive cultures. Weaker mats equate with nonsupportive environments. For example, physical barriers, discrimination, lack of accessible and affordable assistive technology, and lack of appropriate health care result in greater displacement of the mat and, therefore, cause greater disability.
Thus, a person with a given level of impairment or functional limitation (i.e., potential disability) will experience greater disability (more displacement of the mat) in a less supportive environment than he or she would experience in a more supportive environment (indicated by a stronger mat and less resulting displacement). The amount of disability is pro-