The root causes of social injustice are in part centralized around wealth inequities, politicians and legislation favoring the wealthy, discrimination, and a Darwinian mentality (Greenwald, 2011; Marini, 2012b; Warren, 2014). This chapter explores the ramifications of social injustice in America focusing on those with disabilities. It discusses the ripple effect of poverty, oppression, and disability, and its subsequent deleterious impact for equitable treatment and opportunity. Beginning with prevalence statistics regarding poverty in general and disability specifically, the chapter segues into an exploration of the domino and vicious cycle effect of inequitable education, employment, health care, and health. The resulting psychosocial impact on minorities and those with disabilities is a reciprocal occurrence among these populations interfacing with an arguably apathetic societal and political populace. Finally, the chapter discusses a dialogue regarding the social justice counselor and strategies for counseling and advocating for this most ignored and disenfranchised population in America.
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Rehabilitation counseling (RC) recognized family impact on service outcomes decades ago (Power & Hershenson, 2003; Westin & Reiss, 1979), but failed to develop substantive research (Bryan, 2009), practice, or policy (Kneipp & Bender, 1981) on their behalf. The cursory overview of family counseling approaches presented in this chapter is informative as a gestalt of theories and as a collection of unique tools. From the Community-based Rehabilitation Counseling (CRC) perspective, the therapeutic tools of family counseling can be repurposed for inclusive community development outcomes through community processes in all of the nested and networked communities that populate our lives. Thinking about counseling in systems and inclusive community development provides the backdrop for a CRC consideration of the models and tools of family counseling. The chapter describes models that align with social justice and integrated author’s own thinking in the hypothetical discipline of the CRC.