Disability disparities: A beginning model

Department of Rehabilitation Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University, P.O. Box 980330, Richmond, Virginia 23298-0330, USA.
Disability and Rehabilitation (Impact Factor: 1.99). 01/2009; 31(14):1136-43. DOI: 10.1080/09638280902773737
Source: PubMed


This paper presents a model of disability disparities. Though the concept of health disparities is discussed in the health care literature, there is no such model that explicitly addresses disparities in the disability literature. Therefore, this model begins to fill a void in the disability literature. Part of the value of such a model is that it represents an attempt to address the question of why cultural competency is important in the disability arena at this point in the 21st century. The urgency in addressing cultural competency at this time in history is supported by understanding the multiple accountability demands on rehabilitation and disability providers these days, e.g., increasing diversification of the United States population, that render providing effective services to everyone a clear mandate. The author provides a working definition of disability disparity. The disability disparity model is described in terms of its five-domain continuum as well as its macro- and micro-level aspects that are designed to both promote clarity of the concept for researchers and offer practitioners ideas on how to explore the existence of disability disparities in working with specific service recipients. Limitations and strengths of the model are discussed along with suggested next steps in model validation.

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