Wheelchair bound” and ‘The Poster Child”: Ch 1

Disability as a
Multicultural and
Diversity Component
Shonda McLaughlin, PhD, CRC
John Hopkins University
November 1, 2006
What is Multiculturalism?
Sue, et. Al (1998) defines ten
characteristics of multiculturalism:
1. values cultural pluralism and acknowledges our nation as
a cultural mosaic rather than a melting pot.
2. is about social justice, cultural democracy, and equity.
3. is about helping all of us acquire the attitudes,
knowledge, and skills needed to function effectively in a
pluralism democratic society and interact with peoples
from diversity background.
4. Transcends race, class, gender, and ethnicity. It also
includes diversity in religion, national origin, sexual
orientation, ability, and disability, age geographic origin.
5. is about celebrating the realistic contributions and
achievements of our and other cultures and involves our
willingness to explore both the positive and negative
aspects of out group’s and other groups’ behavior over
6. is essential component of analytical thinking and
challenges us to study multiple perspectives, to develop
multiple perspectives, and teach our children how to
integrate broad and conflicting bodies of information to
arrive at sound judgements.
7. It recognizes “treating everyone the same” may deny equal
access and opportunities, and that differential treatment is
not necessarily “preferential.”
8. means “change” at the individual, organizational, and
societal levels. It is an on-going and long-term
process that requires commitment and hard work.
9. may mean owning up to painful realities about
oneself, our group, and our group society.
10. is about achieving positive individual, community,
and societal outcomes because it values inclusion,
cooperation, and movement toward mutually shared
What is it?
Webster’s definition
“1. A disabled condition”
 “2. That which disables, as an illness or
 “3. A legal disqualification or incapacity”
 “4. Something that restricts; limitation;
What comes to mind when you hear the word
 Define disability.
Not a Whole
What’s the significance in the statute?
“perpetuates common misconceptions
about people with disabilities…”
 Power does not equal to disability.
 Political movement
Effective Multicultural
Counseling (Sue & Sue, 1990)
Movement from being culturally unaware
to being aware and sensitive of his/her
own cultural heritage and to valuing and
respecting differences
 Counselor awareness of his/her own
values an biases and how those biases
may affect culturally diverse persons with
Developing and increasing the comfort level
with difference that exist between
themselves and persons being served in
terms of race and beliefs
 Sensitivity to circumstances that may dictate
the referral of a culturally diverse individual
with a disability to a member of his/her own
race/ culture
 Acknowledgment and awareness of his/her
own beliefs, attitudes, and feelings
Changing Views
Although there has been improvement,
we, still, have ways to go.
 Progressed from institutionalization –
– Eugenics
– Veterans
– Segregation
Consciously, add disability related issues
into our conversations.
 Do not be embarrassed of disability.
 Own up to our responsibility to include
people with disabilities, instead of
excluding them.
The point is...
We all have abilities
 Many of us have disabilities
 The focus is on the PERSON and their
 And now, a word on “ility”

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