Disability Sensitivity in Inclusive Environments

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Disability Sensitivity in Inclusive Environments. Sylvia Domagalski, RN Dallas Region Disability Coordinator July 2011. Redefining Disability. Overview. Disability rights movement People first language A new way of thinking Working with a student with a disability Resiliency Resources. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Disability Sensitivity in Inclusive Environments

Disability Sensitivity in Inclusive Environments

Disability Sensitivity in Inclusive Environments

Sylvia Domagalski, RNDallas Region Disability CoordinatorJuly 2011

Redefining Disability

2Redefining disability is critically important in our efforts to ensure people/students with disabilities are included in all aspects of society. When we see disability differently we will think about it differently. We will use different words, and our actions will lead to the inclusion and full participation of individuals who have been assigned a disability status.2OverviewDisability rights movementPeople first languageA new way of thinkingWorking with a student with a disabilityResiliencyResources3

Grecian and Roman laws mandated the abandonment or death of babies with disabilities to fulfill the quest of achieving human perfection.During the Christian era, the presence of disability were often thought of the person being sinful. Religious leaders trying to cure individuals with disabilities through healing practices as well as by riding the person of the devil that is causing the disability.Fast forward to the first half of the 20th century and we find the solution to placing people with disabilites in institutions where segregation, isolation, and abuse were commonplace.US Supreme Court decision upheld that men and women with disabilities were involuntarily sterilized. Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes proclaiming Three generations of imbeciles is enough Eugenics (creating a society of the well-Born) ruled the day.Development of Nazi Eugenics Expert Hitler was then created and embark on the extermination of Undesirables. They first did experiments and then as we know the gas chambers. Seeing this past history, how could we not understand that PWD would want to hide their disability and not feel these attitudes and judgments placed upon them.I ask that you take a self inventory on what a disability means to you. How did you family treat a family member who had a disability? How do you perceive your students with disabilities? Do you feel they need to be fixed or something is wrong with them? Do you see having a disability is natural? One has to understand your own attitudes and see if they may need to be changed in order to make a difference in the lives of our students with disabilities? Our attitudes involve us in the disconnect between what we say and what we do. Ready to promote positive images of people with disabilities , that everyone has the right to be included and enjoy the freedoms we have in US. That is what our Constitutions is founded upon.


Disability Rights Movement4Past History Trying to solve the problem of disabilityAncient practices to achieve human perfectionReligious influencesFirst half of twentieth centuryUS Supreme court decision

5Disability Rights MovementComparing disability rights movement to earlier social justice movementsPersonal tragedy vs. social oppression paradigm6Social Justice movements such as Society dominant white majority looked at african-americans and essentially said: The problem is the color of your skin. Women were essentially told the problem is your gender. Civil Rights and Womens Movements changed these paradigms. These attitudes is what lead us to social oppression. The problem never has been a persons disability. The problem continues and has always been our attitudes about disabilities. Changing our attitudes and the environment, instead of trying to change people with disabilities, must be our mission if we ever hope to create a society where everyone is valued and everyone belongs.6Person First Language7Person First LanguagePerson First Language puts the person before the disability and describes what a person has, not who a person isA person with a disability not a disabled person8*07/16/96*##Why Person First?Group designations such as "the blind," "the retarded" or "the disabled" are inappropriate because they do not reflect the individuality, equality or dignity of people with disabilities.Words like "normal person" imply that the person with a disability isn't normal, whereas "person without a disability" is descriptive but not negative.http://www.dol.gov/odep/pubs/fact/comucate.htm

99Language UseNegative PhraseAffirmative PhraseRetard; retardedA person with an intellectual disabilityWheelchair boundA person who uses a wheelchair or who has a mobility disabilityThe disabled; handicappedA person with a disabilityCrazy, nuts, psycho, lunaticA person with a mental health disabilityDeaf and dumb, muteA person who is deafHes an epilepticA person who has epilepsyAfflicted by MSA person who has multiple sclerosis10*07/16/96*##Tips for Interacting with People with DisabilitiesAlways direct your communication to the individual with a disability. If they are accompanied, do not address comments to the companion.Do not focus on the disability, but at the issue at hand.If you are uncertain about what to do, ask.When introduced to a person with a disability, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. Use a normal speaking tone and style. If someone needs you to speak in a louder voice, he/she will ask you to do so.

For more tips on interacting with people with disabilities, visit: http://jcweb.jobcorps.org/Disability/Pages/BasicEtiquette.aspx

1111A New Way of ThinkingA New Way of ThinkingDisability is a natural part of the human experience.People with disabilities are fine, just the way they are.Disability is simply one of many characteristics of being human.A disability represents a body part that works differently (not better or worse, just differently).

13Instead of trying to fix people with disabilities, we need to ensure they have the tools they need for success. (such as assistive technology devices and accommodations (physical, social and other types of support to enhance their successful participation in the typical, ordinary environments most Americans take for granted) A person with mobility impairment, travels differently.A person with a math disability, learns math differently. A person with processing disability, takes in information differently.A person with hearing impairment, communications differently (Not better or worse, just differently)As professionals working with our students with disabilities it is extremely important that we understand this difference and be able to speak the word disability to the student. So many staff have trouble speaking the word as if it was similar to word cancer, it is something to be hidden when most of our students do not even know what they disability they have. They just know it made them be separated from other students and that it labeled them. Also, they knew then that, Being different as being bad and wrong. We have to create an environment that differences are natural human being experience. 13A New Way of ThinkingCelebrate the abilities, strengths, talents, interests, and dreams of those who have been labeled.When we see disability differently, we will think about it differently, we will use different words, and our actions will lead to the inclusion and full participation of individuals who have been assigned a disability status.14 Celebrate the abilities: how often during a RAT meeting does everyone first check out limitations of the students based upon limited information that we receive by having one IEP. One test score does not validate the abilities of the individual. We have many centers that have encounter an applicant with an IEP and IQ score of 68 and when meeting the person they demonstrated a totally different image. This situation, the person was so verbal and auditory learner that one IQ score of 68 was invalid. One should have at least three separate IQ scores to really see the range of the person intellectual abilities. What I suggest is that we change our perspective from focusing on the applicant/student limitations to focusing upon their strengths, talents, interests, and passions. These qualities is what drives a person regardless if they have a disability or not to success in this world. Your staff will see miracles happens when they just change this one perspective.

14Working with a Student with a DisabilityJob Corps Student ProfileAt promise youth vs. at- risk youthMay come from foster homesMay have ineffective coping skillsMay have involvement with drugs and/or alcoholMay have dysfunctional family patternsMay have court involvementMay have adolescent growth issues


I would like for you to consider this profile and most likely you would also be able to add more characteristics to this profile by your experience working with our students. History of abuse, whether it be physical, emotional or sexual, there is definite woundness to most of our students. It is important that we understand where our students have been so that we can support them to be not only success in our program but in their lives as well. Most centers have many programs already in places such as anger management groups or social skill training to assist in providing the support our students may need. It is my belief that we also must recognize what our students with a disability has lived through just by the mere fact they had a disability.16Job Corps Student with a Disability ProfileMay have been treated as second class citizens within the school systemMay have experienced isolationMay have experienced being bullied by othersAs a result of these experiences they may hold the belief that they do not belong

17The past school system believed they needed to segregate SWD in order for them to have their Special Needs Met. Their families have the same beliefs in the stigma/shame of having a disability. We have to understand why it is so natural for our applicants not to disclose their disability to us. At the centers, staff are beginning to