RehabWire: Volume 4, Number 5, August 2002

RehabWire for August highlights NIDRR projects contributing to the body of work on minorities and disability. People with disabilities are already considered a minority group. What happens when you're in both minorities?

NIDRR Projects: Research in the New Millennium

Developing a Rehabilitation Service Delivery Model for Minority Farmers with Disabilities, University of Arkansas/Pine Bluff (H133G000192) led by Ari K. Mwachofi, PhD. Delores Watkins, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project gathers data from farmers and service providers in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Using the survey data, the project constructs a model of rehabilitation service delivery for minority farmers with disabilities based on their needs, perceptions, disabilities, and the most effective methods of reaching and communicating with them. The main thrust of the project is active participation by minority farmers in research and model building.

two people in cap and gownAccess to Rehabilitation and Empowerment Opportunities for Minority Persons with Disabilities, Howard University (H133B000903) led by Sylvia Walker, EdD. Delores Watkins, Project Officer.
Abstract: The RRTC on Access to Rehabilitation and Empowerment Opportunities for Minority Persons with Disabilities helps minorities with disabilities to achieve self-determination, economic independence, and full participation in American life. The program of the Center is designed to: identify methodological problems determining the rehabilitation needs of persons with disabilities from minority backgrounds and propose strategies to address these methodological problems; assess the outcomes of rehabilitation for persons with disabilities from minority backgrounds as measured by two or more variables (such as functional abilities, wellness, employment, health/wealthness, and psychosocial status); analyze the affects of minority status on rehabilitation outcomes; and identify, develop, and evaluate rehabilitation methodologies, models, and interventions for specific minority groups. Find out more at:

Leadership Development: A New Generation of Effective Leadership, Howard University (H133A990020) led by Sylvia Walker, EdD. Delores Watkins, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project improves services provided under the Rehabilitation Act as amended, especially services provided to individuals from minority populations. The goal of the project is to increase the leadership competencies of individuals with disabilities from underserved and underrepresented communities, thereby maximizing the full inclusion and integration of people with disabilities from underserved and underrepresented groups into society, employment, independent living, family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency.

a group of kids at the park

Minority Outreach Program for Alternative Financing for Assistive Technology, Temple University (H224C010025) led by Diane Nelson Bryen, PhD and Amy S. Goldman. Carol Cohen, Project Officer.
Abstract: This outreach and demonstration program targets African-Americans, Hispanic/Latinos, and Southeast Asians and identifies effective strategies for enhancing minority access to alternate financing programs for assistive technology (AT). The project includes the following goals: increase outreach for and ease of access to alternative financing for AT for target minority groups through the creation of a network or racially- and ethnically-based information centers; attract more minority borrowers through the creation of partnerships with minority-owned banks and lending institutions; create options that make loans more affordable to individuals who come to the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation through minority banks; and (5) identify effective, replicable program structures that increase the ability of target minority groups to access AT and AT financing.

Center for Minority Training and Capacity Building for Disabilities Research, Texas Southern University (H133A990024) led by Irvine E. Epps, EdD. Delores Watkins, Project Officer.
Abstract: This project addresses the education, training, and preparation of researchers from minority backgrounds and institutions in disability research, in collaboration with other minority, majority, and tribal institutions. The project includes a multifaceted approach to the assessment of current barriers experienced by minority researchers, including those with disabilities and those funded by NIDRR.
Find out more at:

For your calendar:

August 22-24: Improving the Health of Minorities with Disabilities by Breaking Down Barriers to Disability and Rehabilitation Research presented by the Center (above):

Agust 21-24: Bridges to Employment: Exploring Options for Latinos with Disabilities Sponsored by Proyecto Vision/Project Vision and the US National Technical Assistance Center for Latinos with Disabilities at the World Institute on Disability:

New Research: Selections from REHABDATA

Jones, L., Atkin, K., Ahmad, W.I.U. (2001) Supporting Asian deaf young people and their families: The role of professionals and services. Disabitlity & Society, 16(1), 51-70. Taylore & Francis Ltd. Accession Number: J41271.
Abstract: Study examining the experiences of deaf South Asian-British children, adolescents, and young adults and their families in connection with welfare provision. Issues discussed include technological services, access to services, parents' relationships with services, the role of school, Deaf cultural identity, use of British Sign Language (BSL) versus lip reading, and respect for minority cultural values in service provision. Results indicate that professional help tends to privilege oralism over sign language and western norms over other cultural values. On the other hand, positive constructions of deafness privilege Deaf identity while failing to accomodate ethnic or religious diversity.

Colarusso, R.P., Keel, M.C., Dangel, H.L. (2001) A comparison of eligibility criteria and their impact on minority representation in LD programs. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 16(1), 1-7. Council for Exceptional Children Division for Learning Disabilities (CEC-DLD). Accession Number: J42387.
Abstract: Study to determine if the proportion of white to African-American students eligible for learning disabilities (LD) services would be equalized by the application of a regression equation to a standard score formula or the use of two different low-achievement cut-off criteria. Results indicate that the regression equation and the two low-achievement cut-off criteria significantly increase the number of both white and African-American students who would be eligible for LD when compared to the standard score formula only. However, none of these alternative criteria were successful in equalizing the proportion of white to African-American students.

Block, P., Balcazer, F., Keys, C. (2001) From pathology to power: Rethinking race, poverty, and disability. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 12(1), 18-27, 39. University of Illinois/Chicago. Accession Number: J42411.
Abstract: Article examining conceptual models of race, poverty, and disability and presenting an analytic framework addressing the perspectives of low-income persons of color with disabilities. Three models of poverty and disability are reviewed: two "pathology" models (biologcial and cultural) and one "power" model (minority). The discussion highlights the strengths of the minority group model of disability in contrast to the biological and cultural models, as well as its limitations for considering the situations of people of color with disabilities. An empowerment framework of analysis is presented as a complement to the minority model.

Wilson, K.B., Harley, D.A., Alston, R.J. (2001) Race as a correlate of vocational rehabilitation acceptance: Revisited. Journal of Rehabilitation, 67(3), 35-41. National Rehabilitation Association. Accession Number: J42892.
Abstract: Article discussing study which investigated whether African-Americans and White-Americans with disabilities differ in vocational rehabilitation (VR) acceptance in Michigan. The results of this study challenge earlier results. Further research is suggested as are possible obstacles that counselors neet to overcome to be more sensitive to ethnic and racial minorities seeking VR services.

Oswald, D.P., Coutinho, M.J., Best, A.M., Nguyen, N. (2001) Impact of sociodemographic characteristics on the identification rates of minority students as having mental retardation. Mental Retardation, 39(5), 351-367. American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR). Accession Number: J43035.
Abstract: Study examining the role of sociodemographic factors int he dispropotrionate identification of students from ethnic minority groups as having mental retardation. The study used national data compiled by the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Results indicate a clear association among ethnicity, sex, and mental retardation. Findings indicate that both individual student characteristics and district sociodemographic characteristics were important in determining the likelihood of identification of mental retardation and that the impact of the sociodemographic characteristics is different for each sex-ethnic group combination. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Smith, A. (2001) A faceless bureaucrat ponders special education, disability, and white privilege. Journal of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (JASH), 26(3), p18-188. Accession Number: J43452.
Abstract: Author ponders ethicalissues related to disabilities and special education. Presents a critique of categorical approaches to special education, the overrepresentation of minorities in special education, inclusion, exclusion, and white privilege. Describes the potential of multicultural education, transformation, and participatory leadership approaches to address the issue raised in the critique.

Simon, M. (2001) Beyond broken promises: Reflections on eliminating barriers to the success of minority youth with disabilities. Journal of The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (JASH), 26(3), p200-203. Accession Number: J43455.
Abstract: Commentary on the failure to eliminate barriers for minority youth with disabilities as they transition from school into the community and workplace. Existing laws and the policies to iomplement them havenot been successful in overcoming the challenges faced by inorities and people with disabilities. Briefly discusses issues concerning overrepresentation of minorities in the vocational rehabilitation process, underlying racism, and discriminatory attitudes. Author suggests more action than rhetoric is needed to remove the barriers that continue to exist.

Danforth, S. (2001) A pragmatic evaluation of three models of disability in education. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 13(4), p343-359. Plenum Publishing Corporation. Accession Number: J43475.
Abstract: Paper uses the philosophy of pragmatism to evaluate three models of disability used in research: the functional limitations model, the minority group model, and the social construction of disability model. Author explains the central ideas of each model, and analyzes the political and moral implications of each.


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