In this absorbing text by a leading writer and respected activist, theory, policy, historical background and personal experience are combined to give readers a rich and illuminating picture of the key issues raised by disability. In the author's uniquely clear and lively narrative style, the book explores: - The practical and political challenges that disablement presents - Theoretical understandings of disability - Disability law and the realities of policy implementation - Key points of contention for the disability movement This long-awaited new edition of a best-selling text includes new stories from the author's experience, as well as sharply framed debate about the development of policy over the last decade and a half. Its expansive coverage includes discussion of welfare, rehabilitation, special education and normalization. This book is core reading for students of social work, nursing, health and applied social science taking modules in disability studies. Michael Oliver was the first Professor of Disability Studies in the United Kingdom and is Emeritus Professor of Disability Studies at the University of Greenwich, UK. He is the author of the path-breaking The Politics of Disablement and Social Work with Disabled People (in its third edition, co-authored with Bob Sapey).
While medical practice has always involved people with disabilities, it is only in recent decades that sustained disability activism, increased legal protections and social awareness, and new forms of communication have afforded various communities of people with disabilities larger platforms and increased political leverage to voice their experiences. Historically, these voices have by and large been silenced, a truth that sadly still reverberates today and one which requires significant effort to counter.1 Through the creation, maintenance, and revision of diagnostic categories, health care in general and the practice of physicians in particular play distinctive roles in both establishing and responding to that which is named a disability or as disabling. Clinician misunderstanding concerning the meaning of disability and the resultant miscommunication between clinicians and people with disabilities can lead not only to negative health outcomes but also to much larger social consequences, ranging from ill-conceived state and federal policies that result in systemic oppression to various forms of interpersonal discrimination and stigmatization.2
Izaryk et al. (2021) propose that best practice for the assessment of SCD may include the combination of several different approaches and the inclusion of data from multiple sources. There is a noted lack of ecological validity in standardized assessments given the dynamic nature of social communication, so SLPs may combine both formal (i.e., standardized) and informal assessments. Further challenges in the assessment of SCD include that (a) it is difficult to conceptualize, (b) it crosses diagnoses, and (c) there is a lack of understanding of the typical development of social communication (Izaryk et al., 2021).
What is it in Vygotsky's works that invite scientists from different fields to scrutinize his writings as if he were our contemporary? Indeed, many factors created the stage for Vygotsky's selection as a promising alternative to existing psychoeducational theories and practices. According to some observers (Brunner, 1987) what has brought Vygotsky into the limelight was, in fact, a powerful pendulum swing from biologically-based understanding of human behavior to the social/cultural explanation of human activity. The timeliness of Vygotsky's works is borne out by the fact that he discovered the connecting links between sociocultural processes taking place in society, and mental processes taking place in the individual. Vygotsky, as no other psychologists in this century, succeeded in developing an approach that connects social and mental processes and describes the essential mechanisms of the socialization and development of the human being. In education, Vygotsky's theory is viewed as a counterbalance to behaviorism, and what is more important, as an alternative to the influential concepts of Piaget. For years, the predominant theoretical framework for child care and education in this country had been Piaget's theory. In this theory, a maturational process determines cognitive competence and a child's ability to learn: learning follows maturation. Contrary to this, Vygotsky considered learning as a shared/joint process in a responsive social context. In the Vygotskian framework, children are capable of far more competent performance when they have proper assistance ("scaffolded learning") from adults. The optimism of Vygotsky's general message, substantiated by a number of concrete methodologies (such as "dynamic assessment", "mediated learning", "cognitive education" among many others) developed within Vygotsky's theory, found an enthusiastic audience in American education of the 90s. Vygotsky has become a powerful "identification figure" in education (Mall 1990, Gredler 1992, Kozulin 1998), developmental psychology (Wertsch & Tulviste, 1992, Valsiner & Vanderveer, 1991), school psychology (Gindis, 1995, 1996), educational psychology (Karpov & Bransford, 1995, Das, 1995) and, recently, in early childhood education (Berk & Winsler, 1995, Bodrova & Leong, 1996).
In this qualitative study, the author uses the theoretical lens of disability studies to examine how children in two multiage classrooms examine issues of disability through conversations during read-aloud and literature circle discussions. In this study, the author looks at how children build positive understandings of disability from children's literature but also how societal attitudes, beliefs, and stereotypes might play into their interpretations of literature. Student's talk before, during, and after literature discussions was audio- and videorecorded. Several themes emerged from a discourse analysis of the transcriptions, including: defining disabilities, questioning and critiquing notions of normalcy; idealizing disabilities; identifying with characters; developing an advocacy stance; and using imagination to open up perspectives towards people in the real world. Through exploring characters in books, children not only learned about various disabilities, but they came to understand characters with disabilities as full and complex beings, similar in many ways to themselves.
In socially constructing issues of disability, the students as readers considered how disability is socially situated in literature as well as the larger social implications of the issues in stories. As Gervay (2004) wrote, "it is perhaps more important to move away from didactic teaching into the realm of meaningful human experience focusing on the person and the story." In this study, children seemed to develop empathy with character before they were able to consider how disability impacted the characters' lives. It was important for the children to identify how they were similar to the characters in the books, such as their likes and interests, and to use these similarities as a basis for understanding the characters' disabilities.
Merrill, A. (2015). Linking theories to practice: exploring theory of mind, weak central cohesion, and executive functioning in ASD. The Reporter E-Newsletter 20(7). Retrieved from -theories-to-practice
Rehabilitation psychologists have long argued that situational constraints (e.g., missing ramps, lack of Braille signage, nondisabled peoples' attitudes) create greater social barriers and behavioral restrictions for people with disabilities (PWDs) than do the disabilities themselves. In other words, as social psychologist Kurt Lewin argued, situational factors, including the perceptions and actions of other people, often have greater impact on the experience of disability than do the personal qualities of PWDs themselves. Thus, the experience of disability is shaped by a variety of psychosocial forces and factors, some of which enhance while others hinder daily living. For adequate understanding and to plan constructive interventions, psychological science must attend to how the disabled person and the situation interact with one another. Understanding the Experience of Disability: Perspectives from Social and Rehabilitation Psychology is an edited book containing chapters written by social and rehabilitation psychologists who study how social psychological theory can inform our understanding of the experience of disability and rehabilitation. Chapters are arranged topically into four sections: Established areas of inquiry (e.g., stigma, social biases, stereotyping), mainstream topics (e.g., women, culture and race, aging), emerging issues (e.g., implicit attitudes, family and parenting issues, positive psychology), and issues of injustice, advocacy, and social policy (e.g., perceived injustice, disability advocacy, policy implications). Besides informing advanced undergraduate and graduate students and professional (researchers, practitioners) audiences, the book will help families and caregivers of PWDs, policy makers, and PWDs themselves, understand the social psychological processes linked to disability. 2b1af7f3a8