Our society places the highest value on independence; doing things by ourselves for ourselves. Because of this, we rarely think about what it would be like to need someone else’s assistance with even the most basic activities: getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating, driving, or filling out paperwork. Thus, when individuals are faced with changes in their physical abilities, the adjustment to using personal care assistance can be challenging.
In February 2016, Ethan Okula, a 10 year-old child in foster care for three years, died from a bowel obstruction after numerous adults neglected to drive him to the hospital emergency room or call 911. In many ways, this tragedy is no surprise; Ethan embodied many known risk factors for child neglect and abuse as described by columnist Mike Newall of the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 18, 2016.
By Alette Coble-Temple, PsyD (Ms. Wheelchair California 2015 and Professor, John F. Kennedy University) Becoming a parent is considered a basic human right in our country. However, people with disabilities are often denied this right. It’s 2015, yet people with disabilities continue to encounter legal, medical, and social resistance to becoming parents (Preston, 2012; Coleman, […]
By Dana S. Dunn, PhD (Professor of Psychology, Moravian College) Three cheers for the ADA at 25 years of age! The signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law in July 1990 dramatically changed the social and political landscape of the United States for the better. It greatly advanced civil rights for people […]
By Dana S. Dunn, PhD (Professor of Psychology and Assistant Dean for Special Projects, Moravian College) How should we talk about disability, especially perhaps, people with disabilities? Is saying “the disabled” or “disabled people” ok? Are there right and wrong ways to talk or write about disability? The American Psychological Association (APA) advocates that when referring […]
By Megan Carlos, PhD (Member, APA Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology) and Jennifer Moye, PhD (Chair, APA Committee on Aging) On a Thursday at 3:30 pm, a psychologist received a request to evaluate the capacity of Mr. Mather, an 83 year old medical inpatient. He had previously agreed to a scheduled surgery, but was […]
By Dana S. Dunn, PhD (Professor of Psychology and Assistant Dean for Special Projects, Moravian College) One of my former students has muscular dystrophy. He uses a power wheelchair to get around. He tells me that it is not unusual for him to attract the interest of strangers when he is out and about with friends—in […]
By Julie Williams, PsyD, CRC, ABPP (Member, APA Committee on Women in Psychology) If you’re a woman with a disability, you’re 40% more likely to be abused by your intimate partner than a woman without a disability according to research done in the past 10 years. Studies show that this abuse occurs at the hands […]
By Efua Andoh (PI Communications Staff) The 2013 APA Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii wrapped up over the weekend. Our colleagues at the APA Convention blog were furiously documenting a wide swath of sessions and events on topics ranging from assisting the wrongfully incarcerated to why Americans are reluctant to discuss race. Here is a rundown of […]
By Erin Andrews, PsyD, ABPP (APA Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology) My interest in parenting and disability goes beyond the professional. I am a rehabilitation psychologist, but I am also a disabled parent myself. In an earlier post, I described the experiences that parents like myself go through. Today, I intend to outline the […]