Acceptance of disability, for most people, evolves gradually over a span of years filled with instructive experience. This chapter pursues the lifelong process of acknowledging disability, physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually, further than usually is done, beyond the range of normalization to higher levels of self-actualization that are fostered by the disability experience. Different variants of denial are evident in the shock, expectancy of recovery, and defense stages. Nancy Kerr’s stages of adjustment to disability are a model of psychological development focused on a particular segment of the population in a limited aspect of their lives. The continuity of the rehabilitation process of disabled people with the human development of people in general is stressed. As a result of the spiritual renascence taking place in current times, more and more people are coming to value and seek the transcendence of lower consciousness, and this includes increasing numbers of disabled people.
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This chapter emphasizes the psychological and tangible benefits of belonging to a group with a solid, political powerbase. Lawmaking is a basic power approach designed to give freedom and equity to groups of people. Limitations on the ability to foresee have long created socioeconomic problems for disabled people, and these, in turn, generate difficulties in psychological adjustment. In recent years, however, the confluence of many forces has led to the articulation of a new understanding of disability and the creation of protective legislation. Building upon the energy and vision of the civil rights and women’s movements, a disability rights movement began to coalesce and advocate for needed legislation. The basic survival programs for individuals with disabilities are contained in the Social Security Act. Both the federal education for all handicapped act and parallel state statutes have mainstreaming as a prime goal.Source: