Women with disabilities constitute one of the largest and most disadvantaged populations in the United States. This chapter helps rehabilitation counselors understand the myriad factors that affect the psychological and social health of women with disabilities. After giving some background on the historical roots of the rehabilitation response to women and a description of the demographic and health characteristics of this population, the chapter presents a heuristic, holistic model for understanding the reality of our lives and strategies for helping us achieve optimal health. It first discusses the pivotal construct of self-esteem, followed by social connectedness, its polar opposite abuse and the consequences of disparities stress and depression. The chapter ends with recommendations on strategies that the rehabilitation researchers and practitioners can use to include gender in their examination of individual and program outcomes, and thereby advance the field.
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The United States continues to grow in population, particularly among persons of minority. With the statistics in mind, it becomes all the more relevant for counselors to be knowledgeable and prepared to work with the growing populations in relation to their values, culture, family dynamics, and ultimately how they view and treat their disabled members. This chapter represents a synopsis of six different groups; Hispanic or Latino Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, European Americans, and Native Americans. It presents a synopsis of each specific group’s culture, cultural and family perspectives on disability, socioeconomic factors, and religion. Involving the entire family and not just the client can assist counselors to establish a relationship of trust that can be meaningful for the counselor-client relationship. Cultural competence has been known to be an important component in receiving school psychological services for Arab American youth and their families.