Asian Americans with Disabilities: Influence of the Disability Rights Movement on Culturally Competent Social Work Practice

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Christine N. Langworthy
Evaon C. Wong-Kim


social work, culturally relevant approach, Asian Americans with disabilities


This article discusses the implications for culturally relevant social work practice with Asian Americans with disabilities based on the goals and philosophy of the disability rights movement.  Standards of practice within the social work profession, especially in the health care and rehabilitation settings, have included changes in conceptual framework and practice roles in response to the disability rights movement.  Using a case study as an example, the article focuses on the cultural values of Asian Americans with disabilities to identify obstacles to incorporating mutually shared premises into social work practice.  Some of the concepts of the disability rights movement need to be redefined in a culturally competent way so that social workers can respond appropriately to the needs of Asian Americans with disabilities.  The implications are that social work practice must integrate and apply cultural values with support of the full functioning of people with disabilities.
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