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Introduction - disability1 Introduction to Disability.

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1 introduction - disability1 Introduction to Disability

2 introduction - disability2 Person First Language  Describe the person, not the disability  Refer to a person’s disability only when it is relevant  Avoid images designed to evoke pity or guilt.  If in doubt, ask. People with disabilities will be more than willing to help. * From Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability (1995). Words with dignity. Gloucester, Ontario: Author.

3 introduction - disability3 Words with Dignity  Instead of … Disabled Invalid, lame Crippled, afflicted, suffer from Confined, bound, restricted, or dependent on a wheelchair Normal  Use … Person with a disability Person who has…; person with... Wheelchair user Able bodied or non-disabled

4 introduction - disability4 Words with Dignity (cont.) Victim, sufferer Cripple Deaf and dumb, deaf mute Retarded, mentally retarded spastic Person with a disability Person with a hearing impairment; deaf person Person with mental retardation/intellectual disability Person with cerebral palsy

5 introduction - disability5 WHO Definition of a Disability (2000)  Impairment: Any loss or abnormality of psychology, physiological, or anatomical structure or function.  Disability (Activity): Any restriction or lack of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being as a result of an impairment.

6 introduction - disability6 WHO Definition (cont.)  Handicap (Participation):Nature and extent of a person’s involvement in life situations in relation to impairment, activities, health conditions, and contextual factors (e.g., participation in community activities, obtaining a driver’s license, getting a job, etc.)

7 introduction - disability7 Reynell’s Developmental Model for Psychological Reactions to a Disability  What do individuals with disabilities feel and want at different ages and life stages? Preschool Childhood Early Adolescence Late Adolescence/Young Adulthood Adulthood

8 introduction - disability8 Social Construct of Disability  There are many social factors that can affect whether or not individuals with disabilities are included or excluded from participation in various activities, which in turn can affect development or self-esteem. Ambivalence Stereotyping Stigmatization Prejudice and Discrimination

9 Ambivalence  Many people simply do not know what to make of individuals with disabilities.  They see differences, and differences make them feel uncomfortable.  Most people without disabilities are not prejudiced against people w/ disabilities; they just feel uncomfortable around someone who is so different than themselves. introduction - disability9

10 Stereotyping  Without direct contact, some persons without disabilities may begin to form their own opinions about a person with a disability. These opinions may be based on a global view of disability. Unfortunately, one of the most prominent social factors that affects an individual’s self-esteem is that many people simply lump all people with disabilities into one category (Sherrill, 1997). Rather than looking at each person’s own unique characteristics, abilities, and disabilities, many people simply focus on one prominent attribute - a person’s disability (Asch, 1984). This stereotyping or generalization is often an unfair characterization of the person with a disability. Not all people in wheelchairs are alike, not all people with mental retardation are alike, and not all people who are blind are alike. introduction - disability10

11 Stigma  Stigmatization is discriminatory or unfair treatment towards a person or group of persons believed to be different (Crocker & Major, 1989; Sherrill, 1997).  Stigma results when the focus is on one attribute of an individual or group of individuals that is perceived to be different, undesirable, a shortcoming, or a handicap.  For example, stigma may result if the owner of a bowling alley doesn’t allow a group of adults with mental retardation to join a local bowling league simply because they have mental retardation.  Sherrill (1997) noted that three factors contribute to stigmatization: (a) fear of the person who is different, (b) associating differences with inferiority and/or danger, and (c) belief that the person is not quite human and thus does not require the same level of respect given to others. introduction - disability11

12 Prejudice  Prejudice (inaccurate beliefs or attitudes) and discrimination (acting on these inaccurate beliefs or attitudes) can prevent individuals with disabilities from participating in sports (Sherrill, 1997). For example, a nine-year-old with cerebral palsy (he used a walker) was not allowed to play in his community soccer program (discrimination) because the commissioner of the league felt that he would be a danger to others (prejudice). The courts determined that under the Americans with Disabilities Act the league must make reasonable accommodations for this child (Boyd, 1999). Similarly, the NCAA was forced to change its policies (discrimination) towards athletes with learning disabilities. The NCAA had not accepted high school coursework that was specifically designed for students with learning disabilities, because the NCAA thought those courses were not rigorous enough (prejudice) (Department of Justice, 2000). introduction - disability12

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