Disability Studies Literature Review Example
Disability studies present itself as the interdisciplinary study and the representation of the concepts, cultures, and personal experiences of the disabled in all its variations. It is often compared to Gender Studies and Race/Ethnicity Studies since recent research shows that disability studies is complicated and has shifting mixtures just like gender and race studies. Therefore, there is need to place disability and impairment within a social and historical context. The term “disability studies” has become more popular with people and simultaneously its meaning has become less clear. Disability studies should answer questions of reforming policies and improving practices in social and historical contexts that affect the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, impairments, and their families. Disability studies has evolved over time. In the 1970s, disability studies reflected the efforts of scholars with disabilities to intellectualize and deduce complaints of the disabled and their families in order to help them. Later on, fields in social sciences presented research on the cultural meaning of disability. Since then disability studies has developed beyond its origins in social science, developing entire sub-categories. Hence, we can say that disability studies identifies that disability is a vital aspect of human experience. Disability has vital social, political, and economic effects in the society as a whole, including both the disabled and the non-disabled people. Disability studies pursue to comprehend disability in all cultures and history, so as to promote awareness of the experiences of the disabled people, and campaign for change.
The article informs us that disability studies should not be a synonym for rehabilitation studies or special education. It enlightens us on the core concepts of disability studies, which are:
Disability studies must be social
Disability is due to social conditions in the social environment and not an individual trait. Therefore, the study of disability incorporates social, cultural, and historical context and personal reality of impairments.
Disability studies are foundational
Disability studies are the foundation for understanding the social aspects of gender, race, cultures and other ways we differentiate ourselves. Disability studies deepen our understanding of disability and impairments in the society.
Disability studies must be interdisciplinary
The study of disability must be broad. Thus, it should cut across interdisciplinary fields or academic disciplines. These academic disciplines are supplements in teaching disability studies. They include both the applied sciences and fields outside the applied sciences.
Disability studies are participatory
In the study of disability, the people with the disability, their families, and the people without the disability should participate.
Disability studies are value based
The article teaches that, individuals with disability have an opinion in scholarly work of disability studies. Their opinions are central to the epistemology of disability. I have learned that incorporating different fields in the study of disability will broaden our understanding of disability.
More Courses in Disability Studies
More academic disciplines should be offered to expand knowledge about disability studies. Offering more disability studies will develop a broad understanding of disability as a natural part of human experience. More academic disciplines will also create more disability-related professions that will help redefine the problem of disability. Offering disability studies in more fields will change the mentality of people about disability that it is a personal attribute to appreciating that disability is due to social conditions.
Current Trends in Disability Studies
The study of disabilities has led to the development of new strategies in its study. They are:
It is a new field in the study of disability where students or scholars work together with the people with disabilities in the society either in community programs or community agencies. The learners will have an opportunity to gain knowledge in a specific interest.
Community Orientation to disability issues
The new discipline helps to explore the theoretical perspectives and themes in the study of disability through the implementation of a community-based project. While participating in the project, people learning disability studies will develop respective and disability-based professional skills.
Service Delivery Systems and Independent Living
The academic discipline helps students understands how the social model is integrated into practice. The Independent Living model and organization exposes students to issues that improve the lives of people with disability, in the long run. The discipline tells us how the disabled participate in the development and how they access community and social resources.
Community approaches, empowerment, and advocacy
Community approaches to promoting participation in disability studies by everyone in the society creates awareness about disability. Approaches like these encourage equality for people with disability.
Theories of disability and social models
The study of theories of disability deepens our comprehension of the experiences of the disabled in the society. Social models in disability studies critically examine the traditional assumptions and perspectives to people with disability. The incorporation of the theories and the social models in the study of disability encourages new ideas of how to accommodate people with disabilities.
Giving people with disability a participatory part in disability studies.
Disability is not inability. Therefore, the disabled can highly contribute to disability studies since they are central to the epistemology of disability.
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