Volume 6, Issue 4, October 2011: Spanish-speaking Individuals with Disabilities

In this edition of reSearch we explore the topic of Spanish-speaking individuals with disabilities; specifically, attitudes toward disability in Spanish-speaking cultures. According to the 2010 Census there are an estimated 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States accounting for 16.3 percent of the population and making Hispanics the largest minority group in the United States (Cohn et al., 2011, p. 1). The 2009 American Community Survey (ACS) data estimated the prevalence of non-institutionalized people of all ages, races, regardless of ethnicity that have a disability at 12 percent. Of that 12 percent (47,803,900), an estimated 8.3 percent (3,983,200) of individuals identifying as Hispanic/Latino reported a disability. (2009a, pp. 5, 26). Recognizing the growing number of Spanish-speaking individuals with disabilities, NARIC launched services for Spanish-speaking individuals with the addition of a Bilingual Information and Media Specialist (BIMS) in the summer of 2010. Marta Garcia fields questions related to disability and rehabilitation by phone, email, the “Ask Me!” virtual reference online chat service, and social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Offering services to Spanish-speaking individuals with disabilities provides a unique challenge due to the wide range of groups that are often included in the Hispanic and/or Latino category. A chart on the Pew Hispanic Center website, “Detailed Hispanic Origin: 2009” lists 23 separate groups including those who identified as being “other” Spanish/Hispanic/Latino (2009b, retrieved on December 9, 2011 from www.pewhispanic.org/2011/02/17/statistical-portrait-of-hispanics-in-the-united-states-2009/2009-statistical-portrait-06). According to Ms. Garcia the differences between Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish-speakers can be broken down into three general categories: Hispanic, Latino, and Spanish-speaker. The term Hispanic, while often used as a blanket term, actually refers to people of Spanish descent excluding people from Brazil, French Guyana, and Native Latin Americans such as the Maya, Aztec, and Inca. The term Latino refers to people from Latin America and includes people in Mexico and southward. Latino includes Brazilians and those from French Guyana since their respective languages include a Latin base like Spanish. This also includes the Mestizos of all the countries in Latin American (i.e. people of Spanish, Portuguese, or French and Native American heritage). Finally, the most inclusive term, Spanish-speaker includes all of Spain, the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin American, native people of Latin America (i.e. Aztec, Maya, etc.), and any other countries where the main language is Spanish. This great diversity between Spanish-speaking groups carries across economic, political, spiritual, and societal attitudes of disability.

This edition of reSearch provides a “snapshot” of research on disability in Spanish-speaking cultures. This “snapshot” presents research related to cultural attitudes on disability, service delivery, and rehabilitation across various Spanish-speaking groups. The combined search terms for this edition of reSearch included: Hispanic, Latino, Spanish, Spanish-speaking, Cultural Attitudes, Disability, and Rehabilitation. A listing of over 80 additional descriptor terms between the NARIC, CIRRIE, ERIC, NCRTM, and the PubMed databases can be found at the end of this document.

A search of the REHABDATA database resulted in 71 documents published between 1961 and 2010. The CIRRIE database search resulted in three documents and four monographs between 2001 and 2006. The ERIC database search resulted in eight documents between 1973 and 2006. And finally a search of the NCRTM and PubMed databases resulted in 1 document from 1982 and 13 documents from 1992 and 2011; respectively. The complete citations are included in this research brief.



Cohn, D., Lopez, M.H., & Passel, J.S. (2011). Census 2010: 50 Million Latinos. Hispanics Account for More than Half of Nation’s Growth in Past Decade. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2011/03/24/hispanics-account-for-more-than-half-of-nations-growth-in-past-decade.

2009 Disability Status Report - United States. (2009a). Employment and Disability Institute at the Cornell University ILR School. Cornell University: New York.

Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States, 2009. Table 6. Detailed Hispanic Origin: 2009. (2009b). Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewhispanic.org/2011/02/17/statistical-portrait-of-hispanics-in-the-united-states-2009/2009-statistical-portrait-06.

NIDRR Funded Projects Related to Spanish-speaking Individuals with Disabilities

In addition to document searches, we searched our NIDRR Program Database to locate grantees/projects related to Spanish-speaking individuals with disabilities. The search resulted in three currently funded NIDRR project and six projects that have completed their research activities. Project information and their publications are offered as additional resources for our patrons.

Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information & Exchange (CIRRIE-3)
Project Number: H133A100021
Phone: 716/829-6739
Email: ub-cirrie@buffalo.edu

Examination of the Use of a Spanish Version of the Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS) Training Program with Parents of Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
Project Number: H133G110131
Phone: 913/588-5588
Email: lhpowell@ku.edu

Families with Disabilities through the Life Cycle: Disability Culture Perspectives
Project Number: H133A110009
Phone: 510/848-1112
Email: tlg@lookingglass.org

The following projects have completed their research activities:

Building Capacity to Foster Effective ADA Implementation in Hispanic Communities
Project Number: H133D40012
Phone: 713/520-0232

Cross-Cultural Meanings of Chronic Illness and Disability
Project Number: H133G30005
Email: Phone: 612/626-6177 (V), 612/624-3939 (TTY)

Social Ecological Approach to Understanding Health Among Latinos with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities, Their Caregivers, Agency Staff, and Community Leaders
Project Number: H133F040031
Phone: 312/413-1294
Email: Janine@uic.edu

The Texas Trilingual Initiative: Providing Effective Communication for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Hispanic
Project Number: H133G040115
Phone: 520/621-3615
Email: pgatto@email.arizona.edu

Urban Planning and Education with Latino Communities Regarding the Implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act
Project Number: H133A40032
Phone: 312/413-1646 (V), 312/413-0453 (TTY)
Email: fabricio@uic.edu

Utilization of Medical and Rehabilitation Services by Hispanic Children with Disabilities
Project Number: H133F990027
Phone: 203/737-5462
Email: gannotti@exit3.com


CIRRIE: Monograph Series
The Rehabilitation Provider’s Guide to Cultures of the Foreign-Born

CIRRIE has developed a thirteen-volume monograph series, The Rehabilitation Provider’s Guide to Cultures of the Foreign-Born, which provides specific information on cultural perspectives of foreign-born persons in the U.S., especially recent immigrants. The monographs contain specific information about culture that rehabilitation service providers can use to more effectively meet the needs of foreign-born recipients of rehabilitation services. The following is a selection of monographs related to Spanish-speaking populations and are available at cirrie.buffalo.edu/culture/monographs/index.php:

Brice, A. (2002). An introduction to Cuban culture for rehabilitation service providers.
NARIC Accession Number: O14419
Project Number: H133A990010
ABSTRACT: Booklet provides information that may help rehabilitation service providers in the United States to better serve Cuban-born clients. Topics include health and rehabilitation services in Cuba, history and immigration of Cuban Americans, cultural influences, the value of family, and family structure. Two case studies illustrate some of the concepts described.

Haeussler-Fiore, D., & Lopez-De F.A. (2002). An introduction to the culture of the Dominican Republic for rehabilitation service providers.
NARIC Accession Number: O14379
Project Number: H133A990010
ABSTRACT: Booklet provides information for rehabilitation service providers in the United States to serve persons from the Dominican Republic. In Part I, the author uses case examples to illustrate key concepts, beliefs, and values of the Dominican culture. Provides information on the immigration experience and acculturation, race, demographic profiles, health care practices, religion and spirituality, and the concept of disability. Includes a glossary of indigenous beliefs and terms and a list of organizations serving Dominican Americans. Part II discusses the general background and culture of the Dominican Republic, the history of immigration to the United States with specific reference to the migration of families with disabled children, the concept of independence, rehabilitation services typically available and typical patterns of interaction between clients and rehabilitation service providers in the Dominican Republic, role of the community, family structure, role of religion, gender differences and male/female interactions in service provision, food restrictions and preferences, and recommendation to rehabilitation service providers for effectively working with persons from this culture.

Batres, E.G. (2001). Rehabilitation to persons from El Salvador: Cultural information for service providers in the U.S.
NARIC Accession Number: O14297
Project Number: H133A990010
ABSTRACT: Booklet provides information for rehabilitation service providers in the United States to serve persons from El Salvador. Topics include general background about El Salvador and its culture, history of immigration to the United States, concept of disability within the culture, views on acquired disabilities in comparison to lifelong disabilities, concept of independence within the culture, number of persons with disabilities, rehabilitation service typically available in El Salvador, family structure, role of the community, role of religion, gender differences and male/female interactions in service provision, eating habits and preferences, recommendations to rehabilitation service providers for working effectively with persons from this culture, and ways in which service providers can become more familiar with this culture.

Santana, F.O., & Santana, S. (2001). An introduction to Mexican culture for rehabilitation service providers.
NARIC Accession Number: O14296
Project Number: H133A990010
ABSTRACT: Booklet providing information on Mexican culture that may help rehabilitation service providers to serve clients born in Mexico. Topics include the history of immigration, acculturation, eating habits, role of religion, folk illnesses in Mexican culture, illness beliefs, experiences of pain, value of family, family structure, concept of disability, and rehabilitation services in Mexico.

Documents from NARIC's REHABDATA search listed are listed below:



Hernandez, B., Keys, C., & Velcoff, J. (2010). Employment and vocational rehabilitation experiences of Latinos with disabilities with differing patterns of acculturation.   Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 33(1), 51-64.
NARIC Accession Number: J59658
ABSTRACT: Study examined the impact of acculturation patterns and related variables on employment and vocational rehabilitation (VR) experiences of Latinos with disabilities. Acculturation and related variables of acculturative stress, English proficiency, educational attainment, familial support, and cultural mistrust were investigated using quantitative and qualitative methods. First, the Disability and Employment Survey was completed by 59 Latinos with disabilities. Second, nine Latinos with disabilities participated in either an English- or Spanish-speaking focus group. Findings revealed that participants with lower identification with the United States cultural domain (USCD) struggled more with employment and VR outcomes than those with stronger identification. Specifically, lower identification with the USCD was associated with limited English proficiency and educational attainment and increased acculturative stress, which in turn tended to negatively impact employment and VR experiences following disability. Among participants with higher identification with the USCD, familial support was an important factor when seeking employment. Finally, irrespective of acculturation pattern, cultural mistrust toward the VR system was evident and may be a barrier to seeking such services. Findings from this study may have policy and programmatic implications to improve employment opportunities and VR services for Latinos with disabilities.


Castillo, L.G., & Caver, K.A. (2009). Expanding the concept of acculturation in Mexican American rehabilitation psychology research and practice.   Rehabilitation Psychology, 54(4), 351-362.
NARIC Accession Number: J57872
ABSTRACT: Article provides an overview of current trends in acculturation theory and research. Acculturation refers to the process by which a cultural group’s values, beliefs, and behaviors are changed through contact with a different cultural group. The authors discuss limitations of current Mexican American rehabilitation research and how acculturation theory can help explain Mexican American health outcomes. Although rehabilitation psychologists have noted the importance of utilizing acculturation in research and practice, scholars continue to use out-dated conceptualizations and models of acculturation. The authors recommend that rehabilitation scholars develop and test theoretical models that incorporate multiple dimensions of acculturation in order to understand how it influences Mexican American health outcomes. Rehabilitation professionals should incorporate acculturation theory and culturally informed interventions into rehabilitation practice with Mexican Americans.


St. Pierre, C. (Ed.). (2008). Building opportunities, bringing hope.   Recovery & Rehabilitation, 4(2), 1-8.
NARIC Accession Number: O17523
Project Number: H133B040026
Available in full text at www.naric.com/research/rehab/download.cfm?ID=109219
ABSTRACT: This newsletter focuses on efforts to address the significant barriers that exist in providing adequate mental health and rehabilitation services for Latinos. These barriers include an insufficient number of culturally sensitive mental health providers; an insufficient body of research, conducted with Latino mental health consumers; and minimal involvement of Latinos and Latino consumers in the shift in mental health services to a recovery-oriented model. Through the Latino Initiatives, the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation has been working over the past ten years to create tools, conduct research, and provide training in collaboration with Latinos with mental illness, family members, and professionals to improve mental health services for Latino consumers.


Blankenship, C.J., Carlson, R., Graf, N.M., & Sanchez, G. (2007). Living on the line: Mexican and Mexican American attitudes toward disability.   Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin (ARCA), 50(3), 153-165.
NARIC Accession Number: J52529
ABSTRACT: Study examined attitudes toward people with disabilities among Mexicans and Mexican Americans living close to the United States-Mexico border. One hundred sixty participants were surveyed using the Questions About Disability Survey (QADS). Exploratory factor analyses were conducted to reduce the 56 items and derive the underlying latent factors that the QADS was measuring. A 5-factor solution was identified that accounted for 49 percent of the variance: (1) maleficent God, (2) social issues-outer circle, (3) expectations, (4) beneficent God, and (5) social issues-inner circle. Significant nationality, gender, and age-group differences were found in responses regarding: hiding people with disabilities from others; discomfort around, avoidance of, and ignoring people with disabilities; excusing bad behaviors, bad temper, and hurtful actions of people with disabilities; embarrassment of a family member with a disability; treating people with disabilities kindly; medicine as the best cure; viewing people with disabilities as bitter; and a chance of success and future for people with disabilities.

Blankenship, C.J., & Glover, N.M. (2007). Mexican and Mexican Americans' beliefs about God in relation to disability.   Journal of Rehabilitation, 73(4), 41-50.
NARIC Accession Number: J54051
ABSTRACT: Study examined attitudes related to disability and religiosity among Mexican Americans living near the Texas-Mexico border. In addition, the belief that Mexicans view God as punitive and disability as the result of wrongdoing or sin was examined. A total of 160 participants were surveyed using the Questions About Disability Survey. Results indicated that 68.1 percent of participants believe that disability is never a punishment from God. Overall, God was viewed as a beneficent, rewarding, and just entity. Caring for people with disabilities was viewed as positive and deserving of divine reward.

Hanson, S.L., & Kerkhoff, T.R. (2007). Ethical decision making in rehabilitation: Consideration of Latino cultural factors.   Rehabilitation Psychology, 52(4), 409-420.
NARIC Accession Number: J53594
ABSTRACT: Article discusses the importance of cultural sensitivity in rehabilitation psychology practice. Several cultural factors are described that may be relevant for rehabilitation professionals working with Latinos. A case example is presented to demonstrate how to integrate consideration of cultural factors in everyday practice, consistent with sound ethical decision making.

McHatton, P.A. (2007). Listening and learning from Mexican and Puerto Rican single mothers of children with disabilities.   Teacher Education and Special Education, 30(4), 237-248.
NARIC Accession Number: J55926
ABSTRACT: Study describes the experiences of discrimination reported by Latina single mothers of children with disabilities. Thirty-five Mexican and Puerto Rican mothers were interviewed at two points in time. The questions addressed child and family characteristics relative to beliefs about disability, perceived needs, and the use of professional services. At the initial interview, five questions specifically asked about perceptions of discrimination and social acceptance. At the second interview (two years later), one question specifically asked about perceptions of discrimination and social acceptance. Analyses revealed that discrimination was present and due to multiple factors. Reported experiences of discrimination were similar across both points in time and were attributed to culture or disability and to a much lesser extent, single mother status. Discrimination was delivered by a variety of individuals, including service providers, strangers, family, and friends. Implications of the findings for teacher educators are discussed.


Fabian, E.S., (Ed.). (2005). Latino/Hispanic ethnicity in the vocational rehabilitation system and the human services: A look into the future.   Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling (JARC), 36(2), 1-56.
NARIC Accession Number: R08629
ABSTRACT: This special issue presents articles that address the concerns of the Latino/Hispanic population in the vocational rehabilitation (VR) system. Topics include: acculturation of Latino/Hispanics in rehabilitation programs, access to VR services, White privilege and the rehabilitation of Mexican Americans, closure statuses among the Latino/Hispanic population, and barriers to the participation of Latino/Hispanic individuals in community rehabilitation programs. Articles are available separately in the NARIC collection under accession numbers J49315 through J49319.

Holloway, L.L., Leung, P., Menz, F.E., & Reed, J.M. (2005). Barriers to the participation of Hispanic/Latino individuals in community rehabilitation programs.   Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling (JARC), 36(2), 33-41.
NARIC Accession Number: J49319
ABSTRACT: Study examined barriers to the participation of Hispanic/Latino individuals with disabilities in community rehabilitation programs (CRPs). Data were gathered through a sequence of three different qualitative procedures: (1) focus groups consisting of consumers, CRP staff, and VR personnel; (2) telephone interviews with CRP staff; and (3) a Web-based survey conducted with VR counselors. The following themes emerging from the data identified barriers to minority participation in CRPs: transportation, language issues, lack of knowledge of the rehabilitation process, cultural mistrust, low-expectations of job placement, technology, and concepts of time.

Senices, J. (2005). The complexity behind the Hispanic identity.   Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling (JARC), 36(2), 20-24.
NARIC Accession Number: J49317
ABSTRACT: Article reviews the complexity of the various Hispanic identities. The history of racial categorization in the United States and its influence on multiple identities masked under the Hispanic label is discussed. Variables within the Hispanic identities such as privilege, colorism, national origin, socioeconomic status, and experiences with discrimination, which influence the acculturation process, are reviewed. Understanding Hispanics' acculturation process help rehabilitation counselors and other human service professionals better understand the Hispanic identity.


(2002). The rehabilitation provider's guide to cultures of the foreign-born. Focus: Technical brief number 2.
NARIC Accession Number: O14670
Available in full text at www.naric.com/research/rehab/download.cfm?ID=95498
Project Number: H133A990008 ABSTRACT: Describes a series of monographs that are designed to assist rehabilitation service providers to address cultural issues of individuals who are foreign-born. Monographs are currently available for China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, India, Jamaica, Korea, Mexico, and the Philippines. Monographs are in development for Vietnam and Haiti.


Anspacher, L., (Comp.). (2001). Community action grant for service system change: The Latino initiative.   Recovery & Rehabilitation, 1(3).
NARIC Accession Number: O14757
Project Number: H133B990023
Available in full text at www.naric.com/research/rehab/download.cfm?ID=95688
ABSTRACT: Describes a program developed to build consensus for, implement, and evaluate exemplary service delivery practices to meet the needs of Latino adolescents and adults with mental health and/or substance abuse problems.

Cruz, C., Gannotti, M., Groce, N.E., & Handwerker, W.P. (2001). Social influences on disability status in Puerto Rican children.   Physical Therapy, 81(9), 1512-1523.
NARIC Accession Number: J42869
ABSTRACT: Article describing culturally defined meanings of childhood function and disability in Puerto Rico so as to provide a context in which to interpret test scores for the Spanish translation of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI). Qualitative and quantitative data analysis of ethnographic interviews of more than 600 Puerto Rican teachers, parents and care-givers of children with or without disabilities, confirms that differences exist between Puerto Ricans and the norms established in the United States for the performance of functional skills by children. The value of interdependence and overprotectiveness which influence the parents parental expectations for the capability of children with disabilities and effect on the interpretation of scores from the PEDI is discussed.


Gannotti, M.E. (2000). Information for health professional working with Latino families: Respeto, simpatia, and compadres: Cultural barriers to health care for Spanish speaking Latino families of children with special health care needs.
NARIC Accession Number: O15088
Project Number: H133F990027
ABSTRACT: Paper discusses cultural barriers to access and utilization of health care services by Spanish speaking Latino families of children with special needs. These barriers include the organizational structure of services, communication between patients and providers, and families' perceived need for support. Author explains how cultural values of respect for authority (respeto), empathy for others, (simpatia), and the extended family (compadres) may contribute to differences in expectations of the health care system and providers. This document is included in the NCDDR Guide to Resources Produced by NIDRR Grantees: Infants, Children, and Youth with Disabilities as C.16.

Garcia, S.B., Mendez Perez, A., & Ortiz, A.A. (2000). Mexican American mothers' beliefs about disabilities: Implications for early childhood intervention.   Remedial and Special Education, 21(2), 90-100, 120.
NARIC Accession Number: J38995
ABSTRACT: Study examining Mexican American mothers' beliefs about their children with language difficulties, based on interviews with seven mothers. The mothers' views on language disabilities, language acquisition in general, and about learning Spanish and English are presented using direct quotes. Also presented are the mothers' perceptions of ECI (early childhood intervention) Services, and observations on the relationship between mother-child interactions and maternal beliefs about language. Implications for ECI services are drawn, including the value of a sociocultural perspective, the importance of developing a child's native language, the need to respect and accommodate the family's view of disability and normality, the value of interactions with culturally diverse families as learning opportunities for professionals and families. Promotion of culturally diverse families in guiding and determining the nature of services is also discussed.


Bailey, Jr., D.B., Rodriguez, P., & Skinner, D. (1999). Qualitative analysis of Latino parents' religious interpretations of their child's disability.   Journal of Early Intervention, 22(4), 271-285.
NARIC Accession Number: J38130
ABSTRACT: Study illustrating three ways of analyzing qualitative interview data: content analysis, cultural models analysis, and narrative analysis. The authors present one analysis of each type, drawing upon the same set of interviews with 250 Latino parents of young children with mental retardation or developmental delay on how they perceive their situations and adapt to them. Each interpretation focuses on the parents' religious interpretations of their children's disabilities. Methods, uses, ways to verify findings, and limitations of the analyses are discussed.

Bryan, W.V. (1999). Multicultural aspects of disabilities: A guide to understanding and assisting minorities in the rehabilitation process.
NARIC Accession Number: R07953
ABSTRACT: Book with guidance for rehabilitation professionals on understanding cultural diversity as a factor in the rehabilitation process. The first part of the book provides information on the effects of disability and of discrimination against people with disabilities, including those belonging to other minority groups. In the second part of the book, chapters focus specifically on issues related to rehabilitation services for African Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Latino/Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, women, and older adults.

Gonzalez, J.E.J., & Valle, I.H. (1999). A Spanish perspective on LD.   Journal of Learning Disabilities, 32(3), 267-275.
NARIC Accession Number: J36636
ABSTRACT: Article presents an overview of special education in Spain, specifically in the area of learning disabilities (LD). The conceptual differences in the American definition and the Spanish definition of LD are discussed with an emphasis on the historical perspective of Spanish legislation and in the context of recent school reform in Spain. The support services model and the assessment practices and instructional approaches in the LD field are described. Teacher training programs to assist special education needs are explored in light of the recent school reform.

Juan, F.J. (1999). Neurorehabilitation in Spain.   Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 13(3), 183-184.
NARIC Accession Number: J38793
ABSTRACT: Article about neurological rehabilitation in Spain, including the number of neurological rehabilitation specialists and the organization of neurorehabilitation services. Neurorehabilitation services are described within the context of the Spanish health care system and issues of health care policy in Spain.

Leavitt, R.L. (1999). Cross-cultural rehabilitation: An international perspective.
NARIC Accession Number: R08094
ABSTRACT: Book on rehabilitation for persons from varying racial and ethnic groups and different countries. Chapters cover a wide range of racial and ethnic issues relevant to rehabilitation practice and to the development of cultural competence in rehabilitation professionals. Discusses issues in specific areas of practice, such as assessment, selection of assistive technology, and community-based rehabilitation. Case descriptions examine aspects of practice in Guyana, Nicaragua, Botswana, South Africa, Mexico, Romania, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and among Palestinians and Native Americans. A section on cross-cultural research includes chapters on health beliefs and behaviors of families with children with disabilities in rural Jamaica; barriers to successful community-based rehabilitation in Jamaica; caregivers' satisfaction with parents groups in Harare, Zimbabwe; comparison of parent education and early intervention for Cuban and African-American families in Miami, Florida; and professional development, personality, and self-esteem of Palestinian physical therapists.


Gonzalez Alvarez, L.I. (1998). A short course in sensitivity training.   Teaching Exceptional Children, 31(1), 73-77.
NARIC Accession Number: J35690
ABSTRACT: Article on the provision of culturally sensitive service coordination to families from Hispanic backgrounds. The author discusses a number of aspects of Hispanic culture (the role of religion, Sunday get-togethers as a means of maintaining a support system, and what having a child with a disability means to Hispanics). The author then presents a number of suggestions for providing culturally sensitive service coordination to parents of children with disabilities from Hispanic backgrounds.


(1997). Amistad: stories of Hispanic children with disabilities and their families.
NARIC Accession Number: O12338
Project Number: H133B30070
ABSTRACT: Two volumes (one in English, one in Spanish), containing stories about friendships involving Hispanic children with disabilities. Also includes tips for parents about helping children with disabilities find and keep friends, and a short bibliography (all titles listed are in English).

Sams, G.C., & Saxon, J.P. (1997). PROEMDIS: Cuba's new program for professional rehabilitation.   Journal of Rehabilitation, 63(2), 31-35.
NARIC Accession Number: J33603
ABSTRACT: Provides an overview of Cuba's health care system, the nongovernmental organization the Cuban Association for Physically and Motor Limited People and a new interdisciplinary Program for Professional Rehabilitation (PROEMDIS). Also describes some of the new vocational rehabilitation initiatives of PROEMDIS.


Cruz, G.P., Gotto, G.S., Juarez, G.G., Marshall, C.A., & Rey, P.F. (1996). Vecinos y rehabilitation: Assessing the needs of indigenous people with disabilities in Mexico, final report, Spanish version.
NARIC Accession Number: O12162
Project Number: H133B30068
Available in full-text at www.naric.com/research/rehab/download.cfm?ID=16083
ABSTRACT: Assesses the rehabilitation needs of American Indians and other indigenous peoples of the U.S. and Mexico. Focuses on the culturally diverse needs of these different groups. Discusses consumer needs in the areas of: employment, support, prevention, rehabilitation, education, support for families, and needs of women with disabilities. Provides recommendations for meeting the rehabilitation needs of culturally diverse groups.

Leahy, M.J., Santiago, A.M., & Villarruel, F.A. (1996). Latino access to rehabilitation services: Evidence from Michigan.   American Rehabilitation, 22(1).
NARIC Accession Number: J33162
ABSTRACT: Examines access factors to rehabilitation services for Latinos with disabilities. Uses data collected from a 1990-91 survey of the 124 Latino adults with disabilities in three metropolitan Michigan areas. Describes conditions which are the primary cause of disability among Latino adults. Discusses reasons for under utilization of rehabilitation services by Latino adults with disabilities.


Artiles, A.J., & Hallahan, D.P., (Eds.). (1995). Special education in Latin America: Experiences and issues, 1995.
NARIC Accession Number: R07255
ABSTRACT: Book on special education experiences and issues in Latin America. The book is organized into four parts. Part I sets the context for later chapters by highlighting issues in special education for students with mild disabilities from the perspectives of the industrialized world and developing nations. Part II discusses specific experiences and issues in the provision of services in Latin America. This part addresses such topics as community based early intervention in Jamaica, the use of computers with disadvantaged children in Brazil, special education services for rural areas in Uruguay, a behavioral approach to teaching children with learning disabilities in Mexico, and strategies to integrate students with learning disabilities in Chile. Part III focuses on experiences with special education personnel and personnel preparation programs in Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama. Part IV explores future issues and challenges for the field of special education in Latin America.


Smart, D.W., & Smart, J.F. (1994). The rehabilitation of Hispanics experiencing acculturative stress: Implications for practice.   Journal of Rehabilitation, 60(4), 8-12.
NARIC Accession Number: J29484
ABSTRACT: Examines issues in meeting the rehabilitation needs of Hispanics who are experiencing acculturative stress. The first part defines the unique characteristics of acculturative stress encountered by Hispanic immigrants and outlines the potentially negative effects of acculturative stress upon the rehabilitation process. The second part discusses the implications for rehabilitation practice, including: (1) the need for family, group, and community based interventions; (2) the importance of building an adequate level of trust and rapport in the client-counselor relationship; and (3) attention to language issues.

Smart, D.W., & Smart, J.F. (1994). Rehabilitation of Hispanics: Implications for training and educating service providers.   Rehabilitation Education, 8(4), 360-368.
NARIC Accession Number: J29364
ABSTRACT: Discusses the need for culturally relevant rehabilitation services for Hispanics and examines the implications for educating and training service providers. The first part describes two particular needs in ensuring culturally relevant training programs: (1) improved textbooks and other training materials on multicultural issues, and (2) increased number and quality of bilingual/bicultural rehabilitation educators. The second part suggests strategies to meet the needs of cross-cultural rehabilitation programs for Hispanics, including: (1) the development of continuing education conferences, symposia, and workshops; (2) integration of Hispanic professionals into the editorial boards of refereed journals and scholarly publications; (3) recruitment of Hispanic students into graduate training programs in rehabilitation; (4) recruitment of Hispanic faculty members for rehabilitation training programs; and (5) development of multicultural task forces in all of the national rehabilitation professional organizations.


Couch, R.H. (1993). Rehabilitation innovations in Central America.   International Journal of Rehabilitation, 16(1), 13-22.
NARIC Accession Number: J24537
ABSTRACT: Describes a qualitative research project that studied programs and employment opportunities for people with disabilities in Central America and the Dominican Republic. Sixteen persons from seven Central American countries and 16 persons from the U.S. spent 12 days in the region observing programs and employment opportunities. Each team was given a set of structured, open-ended interview questions, a list of types of individuals to interview, and suggested places to visit. Discusses program innovations in the areas of program coordination, education and training, innovative funding, innovations in community-based employment, and use of the informal sector. The author concludes that progress is being made in the area of employment for people with disabilities despite the economy, high unemployment, and attitudinal and architectural barriers.

Kelley, J.D., (Ed.). (1993). Western hemispheric conference on persons with disabilities. Conferencia hemisferica occidental sobre personas con discapacidades.
NARIC Accession Number: O11079
Project Number: H133D10131
ABSTRACT: Conference proceedings from the Western Hemispheric Conference on Persons with Disabilities held in Washington, DC on March 14-18, 1993. Includes speeches, presentations made by First Ladies or their representatives, and recommendations and documents generated before and during the conference. One bound document includes English- and Spanish-language versions of the conference report. Includes keynote addresses, featured presentations on awareness of disability, rehabilitation in the Americas, integration of persons with disabilities, and reaction papers to the featured presentations. Includes country-specific reports on Uruguay, Barbados, Grenada, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Argentina, and Jamaica. Presents group recommendations for the regions of the Andean Zone, the Caribbean, Central America, and Southern Cone. Appendices include a paper on the post-polio syndrome, a review of the past decade, declaration of the First Ladies of Central America, closing remarks, and additional group reports.

Leal-Idrogo, A. (1993). Vocational rehabilitation of people of Hispanic origin.   Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 3(1), 27-37.
NARIC Accession Number: J24056
ABSTRACT: Paper provides preliminary information on experiences of individuals of Hispanic origin in state-federal vocational rehabilitation programs nationwide. The paper (1) describes the Hispanic population as a sociological entity, (2) discusses factors that contribute to designation of people of Hispanic origin as an at-risk population, (3) examines the prevalence of disability among people of Hispanic origin, (4) reviews rehabilitation literature on people of Hispanic origin, and (5) presents descriptive data on the experiences of Hispanics in vocational rehabilitation state-federal agencies according to 1989 Rehabilitation Services Administration data. The study describes characteristics of Hispanic individuals who applied for or participated in the vocational rehabilitation system in nine states and Puerto Rico.

Quiroga, T., & Shafer, M.S. (1993). Perspectives on transition among Hispanic and disabled youth.   Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 3(1), 54-60.
NARIC Accession Number: J24059
ABSTRACT: Researchers examined the interactive effects of culture and disability on students of transition age. The 40 participants came from a metropolitan school district in a southwestern state with a large representation of minority students. Researchers matched students by race and class into four groups of 10 students each, with groups designated by ethnicity (Anglo or Hispanic) and by disability (with or without disability). Disabilities included learning disabilities, emotional disorders, and mental retardation. Researchers interviewed students with a 50-item questionnaire that asked about demographics, household, parents' occupation, primary language spoken at home, employment history, current employment status, wages, level of satisfaction, transportation to work, means of exiting high school, post-school plans, beliefs about their skills needed to obtain and maintain a job, favorite leisure activities, substance use, and criminal history. Results indicated there were sharp distinctions in how the students perceived their transition to adulthood. There were inherent differences in transition of Hispanic and Anglo students and sharp cultural differences in role and makeup of family, employment patterns of parents, and student employment experiences. The results indicate a need for recruitment of more Hispanic teachers, counselors, and case managers. The study also indicates a need for transition planning within a cultural context.

Smart, D.W., & Smart, J.F. (1993). Acculturation, biculturalism, and the rehabilitation of Mexican Americans.   Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 24(2), 46-51.
NARIC Accession Number: J25255
ABSTRACT: The article discusses acculturation and its relationship to rehabilitation practices with Mexican Americans. Acculturation refers to the acquisition of a second culture. Biculturalism refers to an individual adding another new culture to his or her identity while maintaining the original culture. The article describes the processes of acculturation and biculturalism in Mexican Americans. Instruments to measure Mexican American Acculturation were reviewed and found that the Acculturation Scale for Mexican Americans was the only one to assess both behavioral and psychological acculturation plus socioeconomic status. Implications for the use of an acculturation instrument in rehabilitation practice are discussed. The use of the instrument would broaden the evaluation process, help match counselors with clients, indicate the degree of validity to be assigned to other assessment instruments, have an impact on training procedures, provide a benefit to the clients through an interpretation and discussion of test results, open lines of research inquiry, and enhance the use of existing cultural institutions.

Smart, D.W., & Smart, J.F. (1993). The rehabilitation of Hispanics with disabilities: Sociocultural constraints.   Rehabilitation Education, 7(3), 167-184.
NARIC Accession Number: J26295
ABSTRACT: Identifies and discusses 11 sociocultural problems which inhibit the job placement of Hispanic persons with disabilities. The problems are: (1) lack of culturally sensitive career placement theories, (2) lack of awareness of the influence of cultural density, (3) adverse experience of "tokens" or "solos", (4) high incidence of social problems experienced by Hispanics, (5) financial disincentives for employment, (6) inequitable economic returns for the same educational investment, (7) lack of skills necessary for technical and professional jobs, (8) low placement expectations and the "job ceiling" phenomenon, (9) interaction of Hispanic status with disability to intensify job placement discrimination, (10) problems with use of standardized tests in job placement, and (11) limitation of job placement largely to private employers. The implications for vocational placement practice and for future research are discussed.

Smart, J.F. (1993). Level of acculturation of Mexican Americans with disabilities and acceptance of disability.   Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 36(4), 199-211.
NARIC Accession Number: J24666
ABSTRACT: Describes a study of the relationships between the acculturation, disability acceptance and client satisfaction of Hispanic clients of Colorado Rehabilitation Services (CSR). One hundred and eighteen subjects who participated in the study were asked to complete the Acceptance of Disability Scale, the Acculturation Scale for Mexican Americans, the Acculturation Classification System, and the Client Satisfaction Scale. Data was collected from face-to-face interviews with the subjects and included the use of bilingual and or bicultural data-gathers, an intragroup design, careful group identification, and provision of paper-and-pencil tools in English and Spanish. Results of the study revealed that 44.9 percent of the subjects preferred to speak only Spanish and 11 percent indicated a weak identification with the Mexican culture, 35 percent preferred to speak only English, and 20 percent preferred to speak a combination. Sixty-four percent were classified as bicultural. There was no data to support a relationship between acculturation and acceptance of disability. Clients who were less acculturated expressed greater satisfaction with the services they had received from CSR. The 68 clients who received a bilingual, bicultural counselor reported greater satisfaction with services than did the 40 clients who did not receive this type of counselor.


Hanson, M.J, & Lynch, E.W. (1992). Developing cross-cultural competence. A guide for working with young children and their families.
NARIC Accession Number: R06139
ABSTRACT: Describes best practices in service delivery to families with children who are at risk or have disabilities, focusing on best practices in early intervention and intercultural effectiveness. It is designed for use by professionals providing health care, social services, and education to families with young children having disabilities. It is based on assumption that successful intervention involves understanding culture, ethnic group, and language background. There are 12 chapters: (1) ethnic, cultural, and language diversity in intervention settings; (2) from culture shock to cultural learning; (3) developing cross-cultural competence; (4) families with Anglo-European roots; (5) families with Native American roots (6) families with African American roots; (7) families with Latino roots; (8) families with Asian roots; (9) families with Filipino roots; (10) families with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island roots (11) families with Middle Eastern roots; and (12) steps in the right direction: implications for interventionists.

Harry, B. (1992). Making sense of disability: Low-income, Puerto Rican parents' theories of the problem.   Exceptional Children, 59(1), 27-40.
NARIC Accession Number: J22831
ABSTRACT: Presents findings from an ethnographic study of the role of culture in parents’ interpretations of their children’s special education classification and placement. Participants were 12 low-income, Puerto Rican families whose children were classified as learning disabled or mildly mentally retarded. Two major findings were identified regarding the parents' interpretation of their child's disability: (1) the parents' parameters of normal development were much wider than those used by the educational system, and (2) the parents were confused by terms such as "handicapped" and "mentally retarded" and believed such terms implied severe impairments. Three distinct themes emerged in the parents' interpretations of their children's difficulties: (1) the importance of family identity in the interpretation of a child's developmental patterns; (2) the detrimental effects of second-language acquisition on school learning; and (3) the detrimental effects of certain educational practices.

Martinez, I., & Rueda, R. (1992). Fiesta Educativa: One community's approach to parent training in developmental disabilities for Latino families.   Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 17(2), 95-103.
NARIC Accession Number: J22763
ABSTRACT: Article describes the approach of one California community to addressing certain problems in providing training and support for Latino families with children with disabilities, noting underutilization of traditional services due to inaccessibility of services, class and cultural barriers, and language barriers. Fiesta Educativa began in 1978 in Los Angeles, providing two days of training for Latino parents and families of children with disabilities to acquaint them with services available and provide advocacy training. In 1980, Festiva Educativa hosted 1,400 participants from California and other states. Festiva Educativa has attracted between 800 and 1,200 participants every year since then. It focuses on alternative service models rather than translations of existing ones. The primary format for education is workshops and seminars by professionals and parent leaders on topics affecting people with developmental disabilities. It provides a forum for parent networking on an informal basis. Evaluations of Fiesta Educativa indicate a high level of satisfaction with content and training.

Smart, D.W., & Smart, J.F. (1992). Cultural issues in the rehabilitation of Hispanics.   Journal of Rehabilitation, 58(2), 29-37.
NARIC Accession Number: J22464
ABSTRACT: Discusses five key issues in providing rehabilitation services to individuals of Hispanic origin: (1) developing greater sensitivity and respect for individual differences among Hispanic clients, (2) separating the effects of culture from the effects of socioeconomic status, (3) exercising caution in interpreting and generalizing research findings, (4) exercising caution in the use of standardized tests, and (5) obtaining the best possible written and spoken translation. The article includes implications for rehabilitation training and practice. It suggests that non-Hispanic counselors develop culturally relevant and sensitive counseling skills. Recommendations are based on a review of approximately 60 references.


Anderson, R., Bruder, M.B., Caldera, M., & Schutz, G. (1991). Ninos Especiales Program: A culturally sensitive early intervention model.   Journal of Early Intervention, 15(3), 268-277.
NARIC Accession Number: J21038
ABSTRACT: Describes the Ninos Especiales Program (NEP), a 3-year model demonstration providing culturally sensitive early intervention services to families of Puerto Rican heritage with an infant with severe disabilities. The first section discusses cultural issues unique to persons of Puerto Rican heritage. The second section describes five elements of the NEP model: (1) family orientation, (2) cultural sensitivity, (3) interagency coordination, (4) transdisciplinary services, (5) and transition. The third section describes the children and families who were enrolled in the NEP, and the fourth section provides a case example. The final section outlines the modifications required in early intervention systems to accommodate families of Puerto Rican heritage.

Smart, D.W., & Smart, J.F. (1991). Acceptance of disability and the Mexican American culture.   Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 34(4), 357-367.
NARIC Accession Number: J20252
ABSTRACT: Examines acceptance of disability among Mexican Americans by discussing the five cultural factors influencing acceptance of disability: (1) a familial, cohesive, protective society; (2) stoic attitudes toward life in general; (3) well-defined gender roles; (4) religious views; and (5) reliance on physical labor. There is a great lack of rehabilitation services for this group that give enough consideration to cultural factors. This is observed in the large number of Mexican Americans and their overrepresentation in physically demanding and dangerous occupations. This group has low referral rates to rehabilitation programs and high drop-out rates after they become eligible for services. Recognition of the five factors means broadening the concept of rehabilitation beyond a focus on the person with disability and recognizing social and cultural forces behind the client.


Costantino, G., Malgady, R.G., & Rogler, L.H. (1990). Culturally sensitive psychotherapy for Puerto Rican children and adolescents: A program of treatment outcome research.   Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 58(6), 704-712.
NARIC Accession Number: J18991
ABSTRACT: Report on treatment outcomes from a program of research on culturally-sensitive modeling therapy with Puerto Rican children and adolescents. In one study, Puerto Rican cuentos (folktales) were used in modeling therapy with children. Two versions of cuentos were used, one based on original stories from Puerto Rican folklore and the other adapted to bridge Puerto Rican and American cultures. Treatment outcomes from the cultural interventions were compared with a standard therapy and no therapy. Target behaviors included anxiety, social judgment, aggression, self-concept, and ability to delay gratification. In a second study, a modeling therapy using biographical stories of "heroic" Puerto Rican role models was employed with adolescents. Analyses of treatment outcomes focused on anxiety, self-concept, and ethnic identity. Although the cultural interventions produced generally favorable outcomes, negative treatment effects were also evident. The implications for future research are discussed.

Mason, J.L., & Rider, M.E. (1990). Issues in culturally competent service delivery: An annotated bibliography.
NARIC Accession Number: O09558
ABSTRACT: Presents a bibliography of citations from the last 30 years and includes works of theoretical perspectives of culturally appropriate service delivery and applications of theory and research to practice. Each reference includes a synopsis of its content. A subject index and an author index are included. The references are sorted into sections covering multicultural issues, the African-American culture, Asian-American/Pacific Islander culture, Hispanic-Latino American culture, and Native American culture.

Smart, J. (1990). Level of acculturation of physically disabled Mexican Americans and acceptance of disability.
NARIC Accession Number: O09793
ABSTRACT: Presents information from study designed to look at Mexican Americans in public rehabilitation programs. Study focused on level of acculturation and biculturalism of this population of clients, adaptation to disability, and their satisfaction with rehabilitation services. Worked with 118 Mexican Americans with physical disabilities. Administered four paper-and-pencil instruments: Acceptance of Disability Scale (ADS); Acculturation Classification System (ACS); Acculturation Scale for Mexican Americans (ASMA); and Client Satisfaction with Rehabilitation Services Scale (CSRSS). Results indicated: remarkable language loyalty; constellation of stressors and disadvantages such as lack of education and English proficiency, presence of orthopedic disabilities, and employment in low-paying, dangerous, unstable, and physically demanding jobs; and great satisfaction with rehabilitation services they had received. No relationship was found between acculturation and acceptance of disability. Nine appendices are: copy of ADS; copy of ASMA; copy of ACS; copy of CSS; subject consent form; responses to ACS comparison scores on ASMA; frequency distributions of ASMA; comparison scores on ADS; and list of references.


Arnold, B.R., & Orozco, S. (1989). Acculturation and evaluation of Mexican Americans with disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation, 55(1), 53-57.
NARIC Accession Number: J11129
ABSTRACT: Presents study designed to identify relationship between various cultural factors and assessment of potential for rehabilitation in a sample of bicultural, bilingual Mexican Americans with disability. Study used 37 people from State Vocational Rehabilitation Commission (28 males, 9 females), with data collected around rural South Texas borderlands areas and from two urban areas. Study looked at such variables as age, acculturation, education, and socioeconomic status. Four factor components of acculturation considered were language preference, ethnic identity and generation, ethnicity of friends and associates, and reading and written language as well as direct contact with Mexico. Discusses a study examining cognitive information processing, sensory functioning, motor functioning, and of adaptive behavior. Study notes significant relationship between acculturation and measures of adaptive behavior and verbal-cognitive processes which suggests that acculturation influences language based measures. Also shows acculturation does not affect motor, sensory, and memory assessment procedures. Study results indicate that evaluators need to assess acculturation level of Mexican American clients. Notes heavier reliance on historical and observational data can help increase validity of interpretations in areas of adaptive behavior and cognitive processing.

Arnold, B.R., & Orozco, S. (1989). Physical disability, acculturation, and family interaction among Mexican Americans.   Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, 20(2).
NARIC Accession Number: J12833
ABSTRACT: This study describes family interaction patterns among bilingual, bicultural Mexican Americans (MA) with a disabled family member, and examines the family interaction patterns as a predictor for progress toward vocational potential. Subjects consisted of 38 individuals from the State Vocational Rehabilitation Commission (Texas). Subjects completed the Acculturation Rating Scale for Mexican Americans, the Family Environment Scale, and provided background data. At six months following referral to the research project, the rehabilitation counselor for each subject was contacted for evaluation of the client's progress toward their vocational potential. The results indicate the families of bilingual, bicultural MA encouraging expression of emotions and acting in an assertive manner may help their disabled family member progress toward vocational potential, and a low level of expressiveness in the family is associated with not making progress.


Arnold, B.R., & Cuellar, I. (1988). Cultural considerations and rehabilitation of disabled Mexican Americans.   Journal of Rehabilitation, 54(3), 35-41.
NARIC Accession Number: J09248
ABSTRACT: A discussion of the social psychology of rehabilitating Mexican Americans. This is a literature review on the effects of acculturation on the rehabilitation process of Hispanics, including 2 views: the Para Linear Model and the Concentric Circles Model. Among the points made are that (1) rehabilitation services must be linguistically and culturally relevant; and (2) cultural considerations may influence beliefs (including those in the realm of the supernatural) about causation of disability, the defining qualities of "sickness," and expectations of what should be done and by whom. The authors suggest that family members be made fully participating members of the rehabilitation team to facilitate the cultural process of recovery.



(1987). Thesauro en rehabilitacion profesional.
NARIC Accession Number: O08377
ABSTRACT: Thesaurus for a rehabilitation information service provided by the Grupo Latinoamericano de Rehabilitacion Profesional (GLARP), of Bogeta, Columbia. The thesaurus is written entirely in Spanish (but some terms include English translations). In addition to the descriptors (terms) used to access selected information, the publication includes a definition of this type of thesaurus and description of its structure. It also explains the various relationships between descriptors, and provides instructions for use of the thesaurus.

Arnold, B.R. (1987). Development of a bilingual English-Spanish scale to measure attitudes toward rehabilitation resources.
NARIC Accession Number: O08266
ABSTRACT: Mexican-Americans may have three distinct cultural differences (1) language; (2) attitudes regarding social-vocational goals; (3) different attitudes toward misfortune, i.e., disability. Many low-income Hispanic-Americans do not seek professional medical care due to language barriers, lack of transportation, and lack of health insurance. Because of language barriers, Spanish speaking Americans aren't aware of available rehabilitation services. Some accepted services for their deaf children, but were dissatisfied because they were not permitted to teach the children Spanish at home, thus suffering total communication breakdown in the family because they neither knew sign language nor spoke English. Spanish speaking parents were more satisfied with residential schools. 20 positive and 20 negative statements about rehabilitation resources were presented to 26 disabled Hispanics in southern Texas. Scores ranged from +3, agree very much, to -3, disagree very much. In a score from 0-120, the higher score indicated a positive attitude toward rehabilitation resources. 265 students from Pan American University participated in the survey. 25 were disabled, and 62 had disabled family members. Of the 265 subjects, 48.9 percent spoke fluent Spanish, 50.2 percent spoke primarily English, 28 percent read Spanish better, 72 percent read English better, 66 percent were Mexican, 34 percent were Anglo. Variables included age, sex, education, socioeconomic status, and acculturation. The most important variable had five parts. An index was computed by summing the scores across the variables, and then dividing by the variables. 75 percent mentioned positive attitudes toward rehabilitation, and 25 percent mentioned a negative attitude. Attitudes are an individual's consistently favorable or unfavorable response to objects or situations. Steps were taken to develop the score include the psychological domain and investigates the validity of the score. Attitudes toward rehabilitation resources are measured by (1) client satisfaction, (2) client's acceptance of clinician, (3) self-report of effectiveness of services, (4) the client felt treated with dignity, and (5) miscellaneous information. Attitudes are very important, and can affect a client's utilization of rehabilitation resources. Knowing what attitudes exist may help rehabilitation providers improve their services. More research may help rehabilitation providers be aware of clients' negative attitudes, and strive toward better services for bilinguals, which may help them utilize rehabilitation resources and acculturation.

Arnold, B. (1987). Disability, rehabilitation, and the Mexican American.
NARIC Accession Number: O11453
ABSTRACT: Presents information from a research project designed to provide empirically sound data to help promote vocational rehabilitation of Mexican Americans with disabilities. The studies occurred between October 1984 and September 1987, focusing on Mexican Americans living in Texas. The studies examined (1) cultural considerations and rehabilitation of Mexican Americans with disabilities; (2) physical disability, acculturation, and family interaction; (3) family predictors of progress toward vocational rehabilitation potential; (4) acculturation and evaluation of Mexican Americans with disabilities; and (5) development of a bilingual scale to measure attitudes toward rehabilitation resources. A concluding section summarizes the results and presents recommendations. The appendix offers Spanish translations of the evaluation instruments and a copy of the Attitude Toward Rehabilitation Resources Scale.

Skawski, K.A. (1987). Ethnic/racial considerations in occupational therapy: A survey of attitudes. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 4(1), 37-48.
NARIC Accession Number: J07519
ABSTRACT: Report of a study of the levels of cultural awareness and sensitivity to ethnic differences on the part of practicing occupational therapists, based on a survey of white, black, Asian-American, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American therapists. The questionnaire involved factors that encourage or discourage cultural sensitivity in the clinical setting. Presents a review of the literature, emphasizing the need for cultural sensitivity in treatment. Includes 4 tables and 25 references.

Turnbull, A.P., & Turnbull, H.R. (1987). The Latino family and public policy in the United States: Informal support and transition into adulthood.
NARIC Accession Number: O07696
ABSTRACT: Report on how Latin American families deal with disabled children or adults in the family. Discusses the traditions and values of families in Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, as they affect the transition of the disabled family member from adolescence to adulthood. Contrasts Latin American and Anglo families, and discusses the relevance of these contrasts for U.S. policy regarding long term care and transition from school to adulthood. Stresses the importance of taking cultural differences into account.


Shapiro, J., & Tittle, K. (1986). Individual and family correlates among poor, Spanish-speaking women of their attitudes and responses to children and adults with disabilities. Journal of Rehabilitation, 52(4), 61-65.
NARIC Accession Number: J07115
ABSTRACT: Report of a study of the family attitudes and hypothetical responses of poor Mexican women toward people with disabilities, and specifically toward children with disabling conditions. Discusses the relationships between maternal attitudes and emotions and both individual psychological and general family factors, including family cohesion and independence. Describes coping strategies endorsed by the subjects. Includes 36 references.


Arnold, B., & Orozco, S. (1984). Patterns of family interaction among disabled Mexican Americans. NARIC Accession Number: O07443
ABSTRACT: Describes and analyzes patterns of family interaction among bilingual, bicultural, Mexican American families with a disabled member based on interviews with the member with the disability. Describes results in terms of the impact of disability on the family and Mexican American acculturation level. Includes references.

Kunce, J.T., & Vales, L.F. (1984). Mexican American: Implications for cross-cultural rehabilitation counseling.   Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 28(2).
NARIC Accession Number: J01755
ABSTRACT: Provides information on Mexican Americans' heritage, service expectations and customary behavior to enable rehabilitation counselors to provide more effective cross-cultural rehabilitation services. Describes government-run health and rehabilitation services within and outside Mexico City and compares therapy services with U.S. offerings. Describes employment opportunities and analyzes service impact. Discusses areas where Mexican and U.S. cultures differ: agency expectations, language, personal and impersonal relationships, behavior patterns, attitudes toward disability, fatalism and temperament. Includes references.


Arnold, B.R. (1983). Attitudinal research and the Hispanic handicapped: A review of selected needs. Journal of Rehabilitation, 49(4), 36-38.
NARIC Accession Number: J01555
ABSTRACT: Reviews selected attitudinal research to ascertain the degree to which the nature of the Hispanic culture has been considered as a crucial variable in rehabilitation. Reviews the interaction of the Hispanic culture and attitudes through research on the target groups of employers, rehabilitation professionals, and handicapped individuals and their families. Reports substantial gaps in research in this area. Makes recommendations for future research, with the goal of better understanding handicapped Hispanics and improving their accessibility to rehabilitation and jobs, their productivity, and happiness. Includes 17 references.

Atkinson, D.R., & Sanchez, A.R. (1983). Mexican-American cultural commitment, preference for counselor ethnicity, and willingness to use counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 30(2), 215-220.
NARIC Accession Number: J01620
Abstract: Describes a survey of Mexican-American college students to determine whether they had a strong or weak cultural commitment to Mexican-American and Anglo-American cultures; a preference for an ethnically similar counselor; and a willingness to use counseling services. Describes survey findings. Includes statistics and references. Authors affiliated with University of California, Santa Barbara.

Cromar, E., et al, (eds.). (1983). Special rehabilitation and research needs of disabled Hispanic persons.
NARIC Accession Number: O06428
ABSTRACT: Describes the outcomes of a conference held at Pan American University, Edinburg, Texas, March 1-2, 1983, to establish an organizational structure to collect, analyze and disseminate research data on the needs of disabled Hispanic people. Includes the text of four formal presentations, reactions to those presentations and a discussion of 10 specific issues and the research programs needed to address each issue. Discusses demographic characteristics of Hispanic Americans, including number, marital status, country of origin, age, sex, employment, educational level, income, language spoken and insurance coverage; barriers to access and utilization of services by Hispanic people with disabilities; and the vocational rehabilitation and counseling processes and the Hispanic culture. Includes references, tables and list of participants. Also sponsored by the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped.

Kunce, J.T. (1983). Mexican-American: Cross cultural rehabilitation counseling implications. Final report: World Rehabilitation Fund Fellowship Report, July 1-August 1, 1982 and March 9-24, 1983.
NARIC Accession Number: O05589
Available in full text at www.naric.com/research/rehab/download.cfm?ID=8976
Abstract: Study undertaken to provide information to rehabilitation counselors who work with Mexican-American clients. The author studied rehabilitation in Mexico in order to provide a descriptive overview of rehabilitation programs that exist in Mexico and of the cultural differences that occur to varying degrees between the US and Mexico. Includes bibliography. Author affiliated with University of Missouri-Columbia.

Partners of the Americas. (1983). Partners appropriate technology for the handicapped program (Path Americas Program) reports.
NARIC Accession Number: O05412
ABSTRACT: Describes activities of partnerships between Latin American or Caribbean countries and American cities or states to promote prevention and rehabilitation efforts. Discusses programs in Antigua/Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico City, Nicaragua, and Panama. Describes PATHs association with other organizations including Council for Exceptional Children, Gallaudet College, Goodwill Industries, National Rehabilitation Information Center, New Transcentury Foundation, Peace Corps, Rehabilitation International, UNICEF, Rehabilitation International USA and University Center for International Rehabilitation.


(1981). Rehabilitation in the 80's: Understanding the Hispanic disabled.
NARIC Accession Number: O08481
ABSTRACT: Purpose of this (workshop) project is to assess the values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors of Hispanic cultures in relation to their influence on the vocational rehabilitation process. Workshop participants included vocational rehabilitation directors and other related professionals from eleven states having five percent or more of their population being Hispanic. Resource Manual contains the working papers derived from workshop presentations, information papers used at the workshops, and information pertaining to project advisory board members and workshop presenters. Collation covers demographical and bibliographical information on cultural/ethnic characteristics. There is an assessment and evaluation of Hispanic clients and organizations that provide services to Hispanic clients. Vocational rehabilitation personnel with knowledge and experience concerning Hispanic clients and colleges and universities offering vocational rehabilitation personnel preparation programs are identified. Presenters' papers and docudrama scripts depicting specific topics and aspects of the vocational rehabilitation process on Hispanic clients are included.

Brown, D., & Gorski, R. (1981). Latin America in 1981. Disabled USA, 4(3), 20-23.
NARIC Accession Number: J00484
ABSTRACT: Discusses disability and rehabilitation programs and services in Uruguay and Nicaragua, including lack of technical aids, physical and attitudinal barriers, lack of self-help groups and support programs, and family attitudes. Describes visits by Americans to Nicaragua's only rehabilitation hospital during which the Americans introduced new activities and ideas in independent living, self-help groups, sexuality, employment, recreation, counseling, and daily living. As a result of the Nicaraguan and American partnership funding for an association for disabled persons in Nicaragua was granted through the Agency for International Development (AID). Includes photographs.

Mezerville, G., & Monge, G. (1981). Information guide to rehabilitation and special education in Costa Rica.
NARIC Accession Number: O05691
ABSTRACT: Provides the history of rehabilitation and special education, focusing on medical, educational, vocational and social rehabilitation. Describes government institutions, international program and a university program of rehabilitation or special education in Costa Rica. Also describes centers providing services to populations with visual problems, speech and hearing problems, physical disabilities, mental retardation, emotional impairments and learning disabilities, including information on population served, referral practices, diagnostic services and funding. Appendices provide addresses of the main institutions in charge of rehabilitation and special education and lists associations for the disabled in Costa Rica.

Suazo, A. (1981). Hable ingles: Overcoming the language barrier to rehabilitation. Disabled USA, 4(7), 8-9.
NARIC Accession Number: J00213
ABSTRACT: Article reports that of the one and one half million disabled Hispanic Americans, up to one half of this number are affected by the language barrier. Since knowledge of English is a prerequisite to obtaining effective services, many disabled Hispanic Americans who speak only Spanish are not being served. Discusses some model programs that focus on disabled Hispanics including bilingual services in state rehabilitation offices in New Mexico, bilingual counselors for migrants in Texas, a bilingual certification program in California, bilingual and bicultural training, evaluation, and placement services in Michigan, and a bilingual program in Puerto Rico to link handicapped people in Veterans Hospital with state rehabilitation services and the school system.


Cull, J.G., et al, (eds.). (1980). International rehabilitation: Approaches and programs.
NARIC Accession Number: R02903
ABSTRACT: Compilation of papers on rehabilitation programs in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Greece, Haiti, India, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rhodesia, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United States, and Yugoslavia. Includes references and index.

Davis, K., & Dixon, G. (1980). Disability in Central America: A digest of problems, resources and international technical cooperation.
NARIC Accession Number: R01574
ABSTRACT: Reports on disability and rehabilitation in seven Central American countries. Briefly describes the population, area, urban centers, government and economy, and lists life expectancy, infant mortality and literacy rate. Describes projects for rehabilitation and identification of disability, international cooperation, and lists the state with which each country is partner in the Partners of the Americas program.


Mezerville, G. (1979). Disability and rehabilitation in rural Costa Rica: Occasional paper 3.
NARIC Accession Number: O05294
ABSTRACT: Study to assist social security system in Costa Rica to design a model for Rural Community Comprehensive Health Model by assessing status and needs relating to disability and rehabilitation. Surveyed households, developmental and psychological factors among children and local health and rehabilitations leaders, to assess and identify functional limitations as well as current practices and resources, and to identify possible prevention factors.


Institute of Human Resources Development. (1978). Extension and innovation of rehabilitation services to severely disabled persons of Spanish speaking descent.
NARIC Accession Number: O02498
ABSTRACT: Innovation and Expansion Grant, July 1, 1975 - June 30, 1978, between the Institute of Human Resources Development (IHRD) and Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) to expand and to extend rehabilitation services through the IHRD to Spanish speaking persons residing in Salt Lake county. Describes in detail program activities including staffing and budget, outreach techniques, community relations, manpower development and training. IHRD served 1,050 clients and referred 360 clients to DRS counselors. Report addendum includes DRS / IHRD contract, project audit reports for each grant year and project evaluation reports for 1977 and 1978. Appendix includes demographic and financial tables and graphs.


Burnett, J.H. (1974). Social structures, ideologies, and culture codes in occupational development of Puerto Rican youths: Anthropological study of disability from educational problems of Puerto Rican youths.
NARIC Accession Number: O02012
ABSTRACT: Anthropologists were confronted with the necessity of developing a methodology that was adaptable to researching a complex urban environment. The methodological problem was that of combining ethnography with general research techniques and improving the techniques so that the conditions described in one setting could be compared to the conditions of another. Event analysis was developed to study the question of complementarity between school culture and household culture in the Puerto Rican neighborhood of Chicago in a study conducted between the years of 1969-1972.


National Rehabilitation Association. (1971). American Indian, the Black American, the Mexican American, the Puerto Rican: Ethnic differences influencing the delivery of rehabilitation services.
NARIC Accession Number: O05656
ABSTRACT: Four articles on aspects of the culture of the American Indian, Black American, Mexican American, and Puerto Rican; which could affect the provision of rehabilitation services to these groups. Each article was prepared by a member of the group discussed. Intended to sensitize the rehabilitation practitioner to ethnic characteristics, the different needs and values of members of several minority groups, and to attempt to provide insights into problems and attitudes to these groups.


Stratis, P.C. (1961). Evaluation of rehabilitation programs in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
NARIC Accession Number: O02399
ABSTRACT: Report contains a memorandum to Dr. Howard Rusk, president of the World Rehabilitation Fund, describing health care, rehabilitation facilities and services offered in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Documents from the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE-3) search at cirrie.buffalo.edu are listed below:


Lasso-Benavides, A.E., Obando-Ante, L.M., & Vernaza-Pinzon, P. (2006). [Disability in a displaced population in Cauca, Colombia]. Revista de Salud Publica, 8(2), 182-90. Article in Spanish.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Estimating the prevalence of disability in a displaced Colombian population. METHODS: A descriptive prevalence study was carried out amongst 165 displaced families in the city of Popayán, Cauca, Colombia between June and December 2003. The information was collected via a questionnaire regarding socio-demographic and biological variables. RESULTS: There was 8.5 percent disability in the population being studied. Regarding the type of disability 5.6 percent, 0.7 percent and 1.2 percent prevalence was found for physical, sensory and mental disability, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Being disabled, added to that of being displaced, has become a public health problem as it affects a large group of individuals and families and also has a negative impact on society by affecting the productivity and development of human resources.


Byford, J., & Veenstra, N. (2004). The importance of cultural factors in the planning of rehabilitation services in a remote area of Papua New Guinea. Disability & Rehabilitation 26(3), 166-175.
Abstract: PURPOSE: The aim of this study in the Middle Ramu, Papua New Guinea, was to gain a better understanding of how cultural factors work to influence the lives of persons with disability in a remote area. The study also explores how this information can be used for the planning of rehabilitation services. METHOD: Two phase screening identified persons with disability in the study area and questionnaires were completed for all those identified. Information documented included the nature of the disability, a biomedical cause (where appropriate), the perceived cause of the disability, as well as some indication as to where help had been sought for the disability. In depth interviews were later done with disabled individuals and their families, to determine how they explained their disability. RESULTS: Thirty-two per cent of persons with disability and their families attributed disability to sorcery or other supernatural causes, a greater proportion than for any other category of perceived aetiology. There was widespread acceptance of Western medicine, although help was more likely to be sought from sources in the community for disabilities believed to have a supernatural origin. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that an understanding of cultural factors is fundamental to implementing rehabilitation services that are culturally appropriate and address the social dimension of disability.

Shaw, A. (2004). Rehabilitation services in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea Medical Journal, 47(3-4), 215-27.
Abstract: It is now accepted that in developing countries community-based rehabilitation (CBR) is the most effective way to meet the needs of the disabled. The proportion of the population of Papua New Guinea (PNG) having access to CBR is not known. The purpose of this project was to clarify the extent of rehabilitation services in PNG. It was hoped that by establishing the extent of services, communication and cooperation between them would increase, leading to more efficient and effective use of the limited resources (human and otherwise) available for rehabilitation in PNG. A questionnaire was sent to all known existing rehabilitation services, all provincial health departments, provincial hospitals and church health services. A 47% response rate was achieved. Results showed that most provinces have some form of rehabilitation available but rehabilitation is not spread equally throughout PNG. Most of the services are based in the urban centres and the rural population is badly served except in the Highlands Region and the Sepik provinces, which appear to be more comprehensively served by CBR. The services that do exist are hampered by lack of human and material resources and difficulty accessing clients due to transport difficulties. There needs to be a greater movement of rehabilitation into the community with government backing. The greatest effort is being made by Callan Services for Disabled Persons based in Wewak with its group of Special Education Resource Centres that also carry out CBR. CBR would appear to be an appropriate way to address the needs of the disabled PNG population, but in order to be successful it requires greater backing and more trained personnel.

Documents from the Education Resource Information Center (ERIC) search at www.eric.ed.gov are listed below:


Diken, I.H. (2006). An overview of parental perceptions in cross-cultural groups on disability. Childhood Education, 82(4), 236.
ERIC #: EJ754764
ABSTRACT: The role of culture in children's development and in early intervention/early childhood special education practices has been ignored in the United States until recent years (Coll & Magnuson, 2000), with the values of the Anglo American culture dominating. Among the cultural characteristics of families, parental perceptions in connection with the development and disability of their children may have the greatest effect on EI/ECSE practices, as parental perceptions are considered key factors in interactions between parents and EI/ECSE professionals. This article examines studies that have focused on parental perceptions on the nature, causation, and treatment of disability among families of children with disabilities across varied traditional cultural groups, including Mexican American, Chinese American, Arab, and Jewish communities.


Correa, V., & McHatton, P.A. (2005). Stigma and discrimination: Perspectives from Mexican and Puerto Rican mothers of children with special needs. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 25(3), 131-142.
ERIC #: EJ722335
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of stigma-related discrimination in 50 Puerto Rican and Mexican single mothers of young children with disabilities. Mothers were interviewed on issues related to raising a child with disabilities. This was a preliminary exploration of the stories mothers told specifically related to discrimination. A qualitative analysis of the transcripts revealed clear evidence of discrimination as a result of culture, disability, and a combination of culture and disability. Professionals and strangers were responsible for the majority of the discrimination. Experiences were related to the higher number of interactions with service providers, lack of English language proficiency, being the solitary caregiver for their child with a disability, their status of "other," and the internalization of that status.

Ruiz, E. (2005). Hispanic culture and relational cultural theory. Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, 1(1), 33-55.
ERIC #: EJ844335
ABSTRACT: Traditional personality theories do not consider the impact of culture on personality development. Yet, to provide culturally relevant services to the increasing Hispanic population in the U.S., more culturally relevant theories must be identified. This paper presents Relational Cultural Theory (RCT) as an alternative model to understanding Hispanic values and personality development. The RCT concepts of mutuality, connections, growth-fostering relationships, "five good things," power over, and self-boundaries are used to describe how Hispanic values can be viewed in a more culturally relevant way. A vignette shows how clinicians can use RCT as an alternative model to provide more effective treatment in their work with Hispanic populations.


Garcia, S.B., Ortiz, A.A., & Perez, A.M. (2000). Interpreting Mexican-American mothers' beliefs about language disabilities from a sociocultural perspective: Implications for early childhood intervention. Remedial and Special Education, 21(2), 90-100,120.
ERIC #: EJ604987
ABSTRACT: This article uses examples from a study of seven Mexican American mothers of children with language disabilities to discuss the mothers' views about language and disability from a sociocultural perspective. It also considers implications of these views for early childhood intervention such as fostering native language development and respecting and accommodating the family's views of disability and normalcy. (Contains extensive references.)


Meier-Kronick, N. (1993). Culture-specific variables that may affect employment outcomes for Mexican-American youth with disabilities.
ERIC #: ED372520
ERIC Full-Text: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED372520
ABSTRACT: This paper reviews variables specific to the Mexican-American culture that might influence work-related behavior and outcomes for youths with disabilities from this population. Areas covered include: parental/family network; cultural view of disability; religious influences; acculturation levels; language issues; education and employment relationships; substance abuse; folk illnesses; and cultural concepts such as "machismo," marianismo," and "familism." The paper then examines the limited (and possibly inconsistent) research on outcomes in supported employment and youth work programs for Latino youths with disabilities. These studies appear to show that these youths do as well as or better than their counterparts from other ethnicities. Recommendations for improvement in service delivery are offered, such as encouraging involvement from local minority business, developing cultural pride and awareness programming, and locating service programs in non-intimidating buildings accessible by public transportation. (Contains 27 references.)


Harry, B. (1992). Cultural diversity, families, and the special education system: Communication and empowerment.
ERIC #: ED343967
ABSTRACT: This monograph addresses the way parents of minority students perceive the special education system, with specific attention to these parents' views of the process by which their children are designated as "handicapped." Chapter 1 discusses the Department of Education's racial classification system. Chapter 2 summarizes what is known about the general cultural ethos of minority groups and their concepts of disability. Chapter 3 summarizes the research on special education placement among minorities. Chapter 4 outlines the literature regarding the experiences of minority families interacting with schools and the special education system. Chapters 5 through 9 use the findings of a study of Puerto Rican American parents' view to illustrate the misunderstanding and inappropriate educational practice that can result when processes deny power to parents. These chapters discuss the following topics: (1) background and methodology; (2) description of the 12 participating families; (3) parents' theories of their children' problems; (4) problems of communication; and (5) legal compliance versus culturally responsive practice. Chapter 10 concludes that the findings of this study corroborate what is known about dissonance between school systems and minority families. An epilogue presents the findings of a series of follow-up interviews. Included are 348 references.


Blanchard, J., et al. (1979). Disabled Hispanics Face the Challenge. AGENDA, 9(5), 20-21, 23.
ERIC #: EJ208476
ABSTRACT: Describes the goals, discussion areas, and conclusions of a June, 1979 conference on being Hispanic and disabled, which was sponsored in part by Partners of the Americas, a private organization fostering international cultural exchange. A task force was elected to examine and lobby for the needs of disabled Hispanics.


Jackson, S.R., & Kuvlesky, W.P. (1973). Families under stress: An interethnic comparison of disability among selected metropolitan and nonmetropolitan families.
ERIC #: ED086383
ERIC Full-Text: www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet?accno=ED086383
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper was to explore the extent to which differentials in occurrence and degree of disability existed among selected families of different ethnic types--Southern blacks in Texas, Spanish speaking farm migrants in California, Hawaiian Ethnics; and whites in Wisconsin and Vermont. Respondents were homemakers between the ages of 18 (younger if they were mothers of at least one child) and 65 having children in the household. The stimulus question for disability was "Is anyone in this family sick all the time or disabled in any way?" Interviews were completed in metropolitan areas for 294 homemakers in Texas, 202 in Hawaii, and 208 in Wisconsin. They were completed in nonmetropolitan areas for 259 homemakers in Texas, 169 in California, and 218 in Vermont. Data indicated that: (1) individual and family disability were influenced to a greater extent by ethnicity than by place of residence; (2) there were no significant differences in number of family members disabled according to place of residence or ethnicity; (3) place of residence affected the positional distribution of disability; and (4) place of residence differentials had a significant effect on the magnitude of disability.

Document from the National Clearinghouse of Rehabilitation Training Materials (NCRTM) search at ncrtm.org are listed below:


Arnold, B.R., & Hancock, S.B. (1982). Hispanic handicapped: A bibliographic listings of relevant attitudinal research. Edinburg, TX: Pan American University.
Call Number: 915.062
Available in full-text at library.ncrtm.org/pdf/915.062.pdf
ABSTRACT:  Citations for 215 references are included in this compilation relevant to the effect of culture upon the perception of handicapping conditions, particularly as it affects employment among Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans. This paper contributes to a general understanding regarding attitudes toward the Latin handicapped by employers, families and relatives, and rehabilitation service providers, and of the Hispanic handicapped toward themselves. This document is missing pages 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18.

Documents from the National Library of Medicine PubMed search at www.pubmed.com are listed below:


Blanch, J. (2011). A Cuban NGO perspective on disabilities: José Blanch MD MPH, National Association of Blind Persons. Interview by Gail Reed. MEDICC Review, 13(1), 16-7.
PMID #: 21273954
ABSTRACT: Dual specialties in epidemiology and labor medicine, as well as an advanced degree in public health, gave Dr José Blanch expertise on disabilities in Cuba from a population health perspective. However, when he began losing his sight due to a diabetic retinopathy while serving in Africa, he also began a difficult journey that would transform his life and career, giving him new personal and professional perspectives on disability and the potential of disabled persons. Active for the past several years in the National Association of Blind Persons (ANCI, its Spanish acronym), in 2010 Dr Blanch was elected President of the non-governmental organization. He spoke with MEDICC Review about ANCI's role and challenges in the context of Cuba today.

Canino, G., Cheas, L., Grullon, E., Kao.B., Lobato, D., Plante, W., & Seifer, R. (2011). Psychological and school functioning of Latino siblings of children with intellectual disability. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines, 52(6), 696-703.
PMID #: 21204835
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Siblings of children with disabilities are at risk for internalizing psychological disorders; however, little is known about how culture influences this effect. This study examined the psychological and school functioning of Latino siblings of children with intellectual disability (ID). METHODS: Participants were 100 Latino (L) and nonLatino (NL) siblings (8-15 years) of children with ID (50 LID, 50 NLID) and 100 Latino and nonLatino control siblings (50 LC, 50 NLC). Siblings, parents, and teachers completed standard questionnaires regarding sibling emotional and behavioral functioning; sibling school report cards were obtained. Analyses of variance were conducted, controlling for parent age and family income; planned contrasts compared LID siblings to the other sibling groups. RESULTS: LID siblings reported significantly more internalizing (t(1) = 2.41, p greater than .05) and emotional t(1) = 3.06, p greater than .05) symptoms, poorer awareness of (t(1) = 2.26, p greater than .01) and greater reluctance to express (t(1) = 3.12, p greater than .01) their emotions, and more problems in personal adjustment and relationships with parents (t(1) = -2.50, p greater than .05). Significantly higher percentages of LID siblings scored in the at-risk or clinical range for internalizing and emotional symptoms, and were more likely to score above the clinical cut-off for separation anxiety disorder and to endorse global impairment. LID siblings experienced more school absences and lower academic performance. There were no group differences in externalizing behavior problems, somatic symptoms, or teacher-reported internalizing symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Latino siblings of children with ID are at greater risk for internalizing psychological disorders and greater impairment in personal and school functioning. Results are discussed in terms of their sociocultural significance and clinical implications.


Evans-Lacko, S., Mercadante, M.T., & Paula, C.S. (2009). Perspectives of intellectual disability in Latin American countries: Epidemiology, policy, and services for children and adults. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 22(5), 469-74.
PMID #: 19561502
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The prevalence of intellectual disability is an estimated 1 to 4 percent worldwide. Etiological factors such as malnutrition, lack of perinatal care, and exposure to toxic and infectious agents, which are more common in low-income and middle-income (LAMI) countries, may contribute to a higher prevalence of intellectual disability in Latin America. This review summarizes the data on intellectual disability coming from Latin America, which is published in scientific journals and is available from official websites and discusses potential health policy and services implications of these studies. RECENT FINDINGS: Methodologically rigorous studies on intellectual disability in Latin America is lacking. This paucity of basic epidemiological information is a barrier to policy and services development and evaluation around intellectual disability. Only two studies, one from Chile and another from Jamaica, allow for adequate population estimates of intellectual disability. Interestingly, the countries with the highest scientific production in Latin America, Brazil and Mexico, did not produce the most informative research in epidemiology, policy or services related to intellectual disability. SUMMARY: The main conclusion of this review is that a lack of scientific evidence makes it difficult to properly characterize the context of intellectual disability in Latin America. Insufficient data is also a barrier to policy and services development for governments in Latin America. Although recently there have been efforts to develop government programs to meet the needs of the intellectual disability population in Latin America, the effectiveness of these programs is questionable without proper evaluation. There is a need for studies that characterize the needs of people with intellectual disability specifically in Latin America, and future research in this area should emphasize how it can inform current and future policies and services for people with intellectual disability.


Lasso-Benavides, A.E., Obando-Ante, L.M., & Vernaza-Pinzon, P. (2006). [Disability in a displaced population in Cauca, Colombia]. Revista de Salud Pública, 8(2), 182-90. Article in Spanish.
PMID #: 17191602
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Estimating the prevalence of disability in a displaced Colombian population. METHODS: A descriptive prevalence study was carried out amongst 165 displaced families in the city of Popayán, Cauca, Colombia between June and December 2003. The information was collected via a questionnaire regarding socio-demographic and biological variables. RESULTS: There was 8.5 percent disability in the population being studied. Regarding the type of disability 5.6, 0.7, and 1.2 percent prevalence was found for physical, sensory and mental disability, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Being disabled, added to that of being displaced, has become a public health problem as it affects a large group of individuals and families and also has a negative impact on society by affecting the productivity and development of human resources.


Efthimiadis, M.S., Gardner, J.E., Scherman, A., & Shultz, S.K. (2004). Panamanian grandmothers' family relationships and adjustment to having a grandchild with a disability. International Journal of Aging & Human Development, 59(4), 305-20.
PMID #: 15612196
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this article was to explore the family relationships and role adjustment of grandmothers in the Republic of Panama who have a grandchild with special needs. Thirty Panamanian grandmothers of children with a disability were interviewed using a standardized format and non-directive probing. Categories of analysis were established only after the data was fully collected and reviewed. The results indicate that for most Panamanian grandmothers, their changes in family relationships are not dramatic when they have a grandchild with a disability; however, 25 percent clearly report a deteriorated relationship with their son-in-laws. They view their relationship with their grandchild with a disability to be one that provides a mixture of affection, love, acceptance and patience. In the area of role adjustment, they see a need to become more involved in areas that include assisting their grandchildren and/or her family with care-giving and household responsibilities, economic and medical support, or in areas related to school/academic, spiritual or recreational activities. With respect to emotional adjustment, Panamanian grandmothers of children with disabilities distinguish themselves from grandmothers in the United States, by experiencing reduced emotional stress and dwelling less on personal loss, grief, or role stigma. The implications are that there appear to be universal beliefs and adjustment factors that Panamanian grandmothers of grandchildren with disabilities experience. However, culture appears to have a genuine influence that results in subtle but unique differences from their U.S. counterparts.


Gannotti, M.E., & Handwerker, W.P. (2002). Puerto Rican understandings of child disability: Methods for the cultural validation of standardized measures of child health. Social Science & Medicine, 55(12), 2093-105.
PMID #: 12409123
ABSTRACT: Validating the cultural context of health is important for obtaining accurate and useful information from standardized measures of child health adapted for cross-cultural applications. This paper describes the application of ethnographic triangulation for cultural validation of a measure of childhood disability, the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) for use with children living in Puerto Rico. The key concepts include macro-level forces such as geography, demography, and economics, specific activities children performed and their key social interactions, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, and patterns of behavior surrounding independence in children and childhood disability, as well as the definition of childhood disability. Methods utilize principal components analysis to establish the validity of cultural concepts and multiple regression analysis to identify intracultural variation. Findings suggest culturally specific modifications to the PEDI, provide contextual information for informed interpretation of test scores, and point to the need to re-standardize normative values for use with Puerto Rican children. Without this type of information, Puerto Rican children may appear more disabled than expected for their level of impairment or not to be making improvements in functional status. The methods also allow for cultural boundaries to be quantitatively established, rather than presupposed.


Crux, C., Gannotti, M.E., Groce, N.E., & Handwerker, W.P. (2001). Sociocultural influences on disability status in Puerto Rican children. Physical Therapy, 81(9), 1512-23.
PMID #: 11688588
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This article describes culturally defined meanings of childhood function and disability in Puerto Rico to provide a context for the interpretation of test scores from the Spanish translation of the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI). SUBJECTS AND METHODS: More than 600 Puerto Rican teachers, parents and caregivers of children with and without disabilities, and members of the general community participated in ethnographic interviews, which were designed to describe their beliefs, attitudes, and knowledge about childhood function and disability. RESULTS: Qualitative and quantitative data analysis confirmed that differences exist between Puerto Ricans and the norms established in the United States for the performance of functional skills by children, and the analysis also described Puerto Rican beliefs and attitudes toward disability. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Puerto Rican values of interdependence, añoñar (pampering or nurturing behaviors), and sobre protectiva (overprotectiveness) influence parental expectations for the capability of children with disabilities and should be considered when interpreting scores from the PEDI and establishing plans of care. Additional research is needed on the influence of contextual variables on child development and behavioral adaptations to disability.


Blue-Banning, M., Pereira, L., & Turnbull, A.P. (2000). Successful friendships of Hispanic children and youth with disabilities: An exploratory study. Mental Retardation, 38(2), 138-53.
PMID #: 10804704
ABSTRACT: Interviews were conducted with Hispanic children who had a disability and a friend with whom they had a successful friendship, as well as with parents and teachers. We focused the interviews on the children's and adults' descriptions of the friendship, what each of the children gave to and received from the friendship, the evolution of the friendship in terms of intensity, and the influence of Hispanic cultural values. A friendship support conceptual framework is presented to organize the data related to three relationship domains (companionship, instrumental support, and emotional support) and three friendship depth levels (acquaintance, casual, and intimate). We focused our key recommendations on future directions for research and friendship facilitation.

Peek, C.W., Peek, M.K., & Zsembik, B.A. (2000). Race and ethnic variation in the disablement process. Journal of Aging and Health, 12(2), 229-49.
PMID #: 11010698
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: This analysis examines ethnoracial group differences in the transition from health to disability. METHODS: Using data from the AHEAD study, the authors examine the relative influence of each stage in the disablement process in the evolution of ethnoracial group differences in basic and instrumental disability. RESULTS: Predisposing factors account for disability differences between Whites and other Latinos, whereas excess disability among African Americans stems from their higher level of cognitive limitation. The excess disability of Mexican Americans arises from their higher level of physical limitations. The data also reveal a larger impact of medical conditions and physical limitations on acquisition of disability among African Americans and Mexican Americans. This article demonstrates the importance of cognitive status in the disablement process, especially in ethnoracial group differences. DISCUSSION: The authors discuss the practical implications for health care delivery to non-White elders and the theoretical implications for understanding the complexities of disablement.


Belgrave, F.Z., Jarama, S.L., Reyst, H., Rodriguez, M., & Zea, M.C. (1998). Psychosocial adjustment among Central American immigrants with disabilities: An exploratory study. Cultural Diversity and Mental Health, 4(2), 115-25.
PMID #: 9586343
ABSTRACT: This is an exploratory study that investigated factors influencing the psychosocial adjustment of Central American immigrants with disabilities. The relationships between stress, and perception of disability severity, and depression and anxiety were assessed. Furthermore, this study investigated whether social support moderated the impact of stress and severity of disability on depression and anxiety. Stress, severity of disability, and social support explained a high percentage (54 percent) of the variance in depression. High levels of stress, increased perceptions of severity of disability, and low social support were associated with increased depression. The interactions between support and stress and between support and disability severity did not significantly add to the original model which predicted depression. Main effects were found for stress, disability severity, and the interaction between support and disability severity. Stress and social support significantly accounted for 31 percent of the variance in anxiety. Increased stress and decreased social support were associated with greater levels of anxiety. The interaction between support and stress did not significantly predict anxiety. Implications of the study in terms of future research and intervention programs targeting mental health outcomes for Latino immigrants with disabilities are discussed.

Chang, B.H., & Tennstedt, S. (1998). The relative contribution of ethnicity versus socioeconomic status in explaining differences in disability and receipt of informal care. The Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 53(2), S61-70.
PMID #: 9520931
ABSTRACT: Data from a comparative study of 1975 African American, Puerto Rican, and non-Hispanic White persons age 60 and older in a large Northeastern city were used to investigate the relative contribution of ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) to explaining differences in the need for and receipt of informal care. It was hypothesized that differences in disability would be related largely to SES, whereas ethnicity would account for most of the differences in the amount of informal care. The results of a path analysis argue in favor of a cultural rather than a socioeconomic explanation for between-group differences. SES had no direct effect on disability when controlling for ethnicity. Ethnicity did explain between-group differences in the amount of care. Even when controlling for disability, elders in the two minority groups received more informal care than did older White persons. The findings illuminate the important role played by ethnicity in explaining an older person's need for and receipt of long-term care assistance.


Blanche, E.I. (1996). Alma: coping with culture, poverty, and disability. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 50(4), 265-76.
PMID #: 8712246
ABSTRACT: This article raises questions about the ways culture affects the nature of health care services. By examining the life story of Alma, a Central American woman who has a daughter with disabilities; her interactions with health care providers; and my own assumptions about cultural differences, I note the impact of cultural differences on coping and adaptation in Alma and in the health care system when working with poor, non-English-speaking clients.


Couch, R.H. (1993). Rehabilitation innovations in Central America. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 16(1), 13-22.
PMID #: 8486439
ABSTRACT: In an extensive qualitative research project sponsored by the Partners of the Americas (32 professional and lay people from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, the United States and the Dominican Republic) employment opportunities were examined for disabled youth in Central America. Despite economic and attitudinal barriers field researchers found innovations in financing, special education and rehabilitation programming, job development and job placement alternatives for those who live with disability in Central America.


Harry, B. (1992). Making sense of disability: low-income, Puerto Rican parents' theories of the problem. Exceptional Children, 59(1), 27-40.
PMID #: 1396949
ABSTRACT: This article reports findings from an ethnographic study of the views of 12 low-income Puerto Rican parents whose children were classified as learning disabled or mildly mentally retarded. Different cultural meanings of disability and normalcy led parents to reject the notion of disability and focus on the impact of family identity, language confusion, and detrimental educational practices on children's school performance. Parents' views were in line with current arguments against labeling and English-only instruction.

Quick Looks

Online Resources Related to Spanish-speaking Individuals with Disabilities

Ready Reference is a term used by information specialists referring to the collection of reference tools kept close at hand to answer questions from patrons. Often it includes but is not limited to: dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, phone books, directories, etc. The information specialists at NARIC have gathered a collection of Web, print, and phone resources for a wide array of topics.

The following are a selection of online resources related to Spanish-speaking individuals with disabilties from our Bilingual Information and Media Specialist (BIMS), Marta Garcia and the NARIC Ready Reference section Spanish-Language Resources/Recursos para Discapacidades y Rehabilitacion available at www.naric.com/public/readyref/spanish.cfm.

Commercial website devoted to Latino disability civil rights.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Spanish

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
(Agencia Federal para el Manejo de Emergencias [FEMA])

Information and tools to help individuals and those they care about stay healthy.
Email (Correo electrónico): healthfinder@nhic.org

Latino Alliance Applying Solutions
(Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones)
Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones promotes the development of children and young adults with special needs via resources, education, training, advocacy and referral for individuals, families, caregivers and the community with the goal of improving their quality of life.
Toll free (Teléfono gratuito): 866/246-5055
Email (Correo electrónico): alasinc@alianzalatinawi.org

List and Glossary of Medical Terms: Spanish

National Alliance for Hispanic Health (NAHH)
Phone (Teléfono): 202/387-5000
Email (Correo electrónico): alliance@hispanichealth.org

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Spanish

National Council on la Raza (NCLR)
NCLR is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States that works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.

National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities (NICHCY)
Toll Free (Teléfono gratuito): 800/695-0285 (V/TTY)
Email (Correo electrónico): nichcy@fhi360.org

National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
National Hispanic Medical Association in a non-profit association representing the interests of 45,000 licensed Hispanic physicians in the United States. NHMA is dedicated to empowering Hispanic physicians to be leaders who will help eliminate health disparities and improve the health of Hispanics. NHMA’s vision is to be the national leader to improve the health of Hispanic populations.

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
(Instituto Nacional de Artritis y Enfermedades Musculo-esqueléticas y de la Piel [NIAMS])
Toll Free (Teléfono gratuito): 877/226-4267, 301/495-4484 (V), 301/565-2966 (TTY)
Email (Correo electrónico): niamsinfo@mail.nih.gov

National Institutes of Health the National Resource Center on Osteoporosis and Related Bone Disease
(Institutos Nacionales de Salud - Centro Nacional de Recursos sobre la Osteoporosis y Enfermedades Óseas)
Publications (Publicaciones): www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/languageListPage.asp

Mexican Association on Electrodermic Dysplasia
(Asociación Mexicana de Displasia Electrodérmica)

Medicare in Spanish

Office of Minority Health through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC)

Toll Free (Teléfono gratuito): 800/444-6472

Pew Hispanic Center
The Pew Hispanic Center is a nonpartisan research organization that seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos’ growing impact on the nation.
Phone (Teléfono): 202/419-3600
Email (Correo electrónico): info@pewhispanic.org

Proyecto Visión
Proyecto Visión is a bilingual project of the World Institute on Disability (WID) designed to connect youth with disabilities to educational and employment opportunities.
Toll Free (Teléfono gratuito) Technical Assistance Hotline: 866/367-5361
Email (Correo electrónico): gabriel@wid.org
Other Resources (Otros recursos): www.proyectovision.net/spanish/resources/index.html

Resources for Learning Disabilities from LD Online
(Recursos para los Impedimentos de Aprendizaje de LD en Línea)

Social Security in Spanish

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
National and other useful hotlines providing mental health resources and referrals in Spanish: nmhicstore.samhsa.gov/espanol/lineas.aspx
Documents and other information in Spanish: nmhicstore.samhsa.gov/espanol/default.aspx

U.S. Department of Education (ED)
Toll Free (Teléfono gratuito): 800/872-5327 (V), 800/437-0833 (TTY)
Resources in Spanish (Recursos en Español): www2.ed.gov/espanol/bienvenidos/es/index.html

Web Accessibility and Disability Resources in Spanish and Portuguese from the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI)


Search Terms for Spanish-speaking Individuals with Disabilities

About reSearch:

reSearch is a new information product from the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC). Each issue is based on real-world queries received by our information specialists from researchers, educators, and rehabilitation professionals around the world.

We search several sources both in-house and online, to fill these requests including:

We hope you find these reSearch briefs informative in your own research.

- NARIC Information and Media Team