Dispelling Discomfort with Disability

March 30 9:00 am


Columbia School of Social Work 1255 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10027

About the Workshop

When a person with a disability passes you on the street, what do you notice? Studies have shown that many people fixate on the disability. Fear of becoming disabled is usually the reason for this, and it’s driven by preconceived ideas/beliefs, cultural stereotypes, and fundamental questions about disability. In this workshop, Social Workers will improve their knowledge, confront their discomfort with disability, and strengthen their clinical skills to work more compassionately and effectively with disability. Self-awareness with respect to disability will be a key focus.

This full-day interactive workshop integrates lecture, discussion, case studies, simulation, writing exercises, small group activities and multi-media. Topics to be covered include:

  • an overview of the history in the U.S.A. of disability and the ADA (Americans with Disability Act)
  • synopsis of Deaf and Blind Communities and how to appropriately work with them
  • disabilities in the media
  • stigma around disability
  • language and disability
  • difference in disabilities (being born with vs. developing, invisible vs. visible)
  • impact of disability on family systems and on development
  • self-awareness and understanding one’s own disability(ies), and working with clients with disabilities.