Disability Sensitivity in Inclusive Environments Sylvia Domagalski, RN Dallas Region Disability Coordinator July 2011
Overview • Disability rights movement • People first language • A new way of thinking • Working with a student with a disability • Resiliency • Resources
Past History • Trying to solve the “problem” of disability • Ancient practices to achieve “human perfection” • Religious influences • First half of twentieth century • US Supreme court decision
Disability Rights Movement • Comparing disability rights movement to earlier social justice movements • Personal tragedy vs. social oppression paradigm
Person First Language • Person First Language puts the person before the disability and describes what a person has, not who a person is • A “person with a disability” not a “disabled” person
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
Tips for Interacting with People with Disabilities • Always 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
A New Way of Thinking • Disability 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).
A New Way of Thinking • Celebrate 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.
Job Corps Student Profile • At promise youth vs. at- risk youth • May come from foster homes • May have ineffective coping skills • May have involvement with drugs and/or alcohol • May have dysfunctional family patterns • May have court involvement • May have adolescent growth issues
Job Corps Student with a Disability Profile • May have been treated as second class citizens within the school system • May have experienced isolation • May have experienced being bullied by others • As a result of these experiences they may hold the belief that they do not belong
Belief Systems of Students with Disabilities Students with disabilities may feel: • they are different than everyone else, because of their disability • that they must hide their disability because they may not be accepted into the Job Corps program • they need to be “fixed” • they need to earn their way to be with others
Support • Take a look at ourselves. • Review our past and what beliefs we encountered either from family or society. • Old attitudes and perceptions-not the disability itself-constitutes the greatest obstacle facing our students with disabilities. • Are we willing to change and step up for this challenge?
Working with a Student with a Disability • It is okay to say the word disability. However, explain it by using your new way of thinking. • Explain what the disability is: keep it simple. • It is extremely important that the student understands his/her disability and the strategies/accommodations that can make things easier.
Working with a Student with a Disability • Reasonable accommodation meeting • Purpose of meeting • Framing the intention of meeting • Opportunities to develop effective relationships
Working with a Student with a Disability • Ensure understanding of accommodation concept • Ensure understanding of accommodation plan and accommodation process • Explain the importance of self advocacy Option: Assign student the task of researching his/her disability and suggesting accommodations that may be effective
Jessica Cox – First Pilot to Fly Airplane With Feet • Jessica Cox was born without arms, but that has only stopped her from doing one thing: using the word can't. • With one foot manning the controls and the other delicately guiding the steering column, Cox, 25, soared to achieve a Sport Pilot certificate.
Bethany Hamilton – Soul Surfer • Born in Kauai, Hawaii into a family of professional surfers • Lost her arm in a tiger shark attack at the age of 13 • Went on to become a pro surfer in 2007
Hidden Disability Role Models Emotional • Patty Duke • Abraham Lincoln • Jane Pauley • Linda Hamilton • Michelangelo • Ludwig Beethoven LD/ADHD • Bruce Jenner • Cher • Danny Glover • Magic Johnson • Jewel • Whoopi Goldberg • Tommy Hilfiger
R-WORD Campaign http://therword.org/
What Can YOU Do? Campaign I Can” PSA Youth Discussion Guide • This guide can be used to start a conversation among all youth, with and without disabilities, about the importance of focusing on ability and talent, not making assumptions about what people can or can’t do, and setting goals for employment. The “I Can” PSA encourages everyone to set employment goals high and to remember that at work, it’s what people CAN do that matters.
The Ten Commandments • Provides information on disability etiquette through a series of humorous vignettes • Delivers a compelling portrait of people with disabilities as competent and contributing participants in the workforce http://www.disabilitytraining.com
Disability is Natural Website Posters available at www.disabilityisnatural.com
Regional Disability Coordinators • Lisa Kosh-Region 1 email@example.com • Kimberly Jones-Regions 2, 5, 6 firstname.lastname@example.org • Nikki Jackson-Region 3 email@example.com • Sylvia Domagalski-Region 4 firstname.lastname@example.org