It seems at multiple points in the series itself, and in the opening credits for that matter, it was strongly emphasized that Steve was rebuilt "better than before". Now, certainly, it makes for stronger plot points in the show if he's more like a superhero than a man who has gone through rehabilitation from a nearly fatal injury, but it seems as if the creators of the show are going out of their way to point this fact out.
Did this choice of words reflect on social norms about those with physical disabilities at the time? In other words, was there more of a social emphasis on "we must make people whole again" at that time, rather than seeing the person with a disability more for who they are as a person as we do now, which influenced the word choices by the producers and writers?
It's possible that the producers were emphasizing the triumph of the technology more so than the humanitarian aspect, but many other facets of the show deal with how people "in the know" treat Steve Austin differently because of his experience, so I'm assuming they were cognizant of the above points as well.