Assistive technology (AT) has a profound impact on the everyday lives and employment opportunities of individuals with disabilities by providing them with greater independence and enabling them to perform activities not possible in the past. Self-esteem, self-efficacy, and motivation are described as central elements in increasing a consumer’s confidence and belief in self. Good outcomes and efficacy expectations, as well as strong motivation, help lead to successful adaptation to AT. This chapter presents the human component of technology, the relationship between consumers and technological devices/equipment, and the acceptance and use by consumers. It offers recommendations to assist rehabilitation professionals in helping consumers with accepting, utilizing, and benefiting from technology. There needs to be a close and appropriate fit between the technological device and consumer. Therefore, the need for the counselor to actively listen and engage the consumer in the process is essential to the effectiveness and outcome of AT success.
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- Go to chapter: Working With Trauma-Related Mental Health Problems Among Combat Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts
Working With Trauma-Related Mental Health Problems Among Combat Veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq Conflicts
The impact of extraordinarily stressful and traumatic events on active-duty service members, veterans, and their family members is a critically relevant topic when providing services to those who have a combination of mental and physical disabilities. Recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries in the Middle East have spurred the expansion of programs and services for veterans, including those with disabilities. To inform the provision of mental health interventions for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn (OND), veterans, a thorough understanding of the mental health problems in this population is a necessary first step. This chapter reviews research on the prevalence and types of mental health problems among OEF/OIF/OND veterans, associated risk factors, and other psychosocial issues and provides empirical evidence for treatment in this population. This material provides guidance to clinicians working with mental health and psychosocial problems of veterans of the OEF/OIF/OND conflicts.
This chapter explores a range of topics related to obesity, including its prevalence, medical aspects, and associated complications. Other relevant areas include the psychosocial factors pertaining to societal attitudes and individual mental health issues, vocational implications concerning work/wage discrimination, Social Security regulations, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections. The chapter also discusses the implications for rehabilitation counselors regarding vocational and mental health counseling. The implications of working with persons who are obese or overweight may be broken down into mental health counseling and/or vocational counseling. Obesity and related medical complications have soared to the forefront of medical conditions that lead to premature death, discrimination in employment, compromised quality of life, and negative psychosocial implications. Counselors who are aware of the medical, psychosocial, and vocational implications of obesity can assist clients in a variety of ways, keeping Olkin’s (1999) recommendations in mind regarding disability-affirmative therapy.
The conceptualization of disability as an attribute located solely within an individual is changing to a paradigm in which disability is thought to be an interaction among the individual, the disability, and the environment. This chapter draws both theoretical and practice implications, which may assist practitioners and educators in gaining a clearer understanding of counseling clients who have disabilities, from four broad models of disability. Intended as a broad overview of the major models and an introductory discussion of ways in which these models can affect the profession of counseling, the chapter presents several different ways of conceptualizing the experience of disability. The four broad models are: (a) the biomedical model, (b) the functional model, (c) the environmental model, and (d) the sociopolitical model. The functional model and the environmental model are presented together because both are interactive models; stated differently.
This chapter reviews the history of treatment toward people with disabilities (PWDs) in the United States. Early immigration literature and the apparent attitudes and treatment toward PWDs, as well as certain other immigrant populations, were blatantly prejudiced and discriminatory. Antidisability sentiment became more evident with immigration restriction, which began as early as the development of the first North American settlements. The eugenics movement essentially died down after World War II, primarily because of Social Darwinism and the Nazi extermination of an estimated 250,000 German citizens and war veterans with disabilities. The survival-of-the-fittest concept and natural selection in the 21st century appear to have morphed into a survival of the financially fittest ideology. With the aging of America and millions of baby boomers moving into their golden years, the financial portfolios of these individuals dictate what the quality of their lives will be, like at no time before in American history.
In the past quarter of a century, several attempts have been made to categorize the different sources of negative attitudes toward individuals with disabling conditions. This chapter integrates the major approaches in the domain of attitudinal sources toward people with disabilities and offers a new classification system by which these attitudes can be better conceptualized and understood. Some of the major categories included are: (a) conditioning by sociocultural norms that emphasize certain qualities not met by the disabled population; (b) childhood influences in which early life experiences foster the formation of stereotypic adult beliefs and values; and (c) psychodynamic mechanisms that may play a role in creating unrealistic expectations and unresolved conflicts when interacting with disabled persons. Parental and significant others’ actions, words, tone of voice, gestures, and so forth, are transmitted to the child and tend to have a crucial impact on the formation of attitudes toward disability.
- Go to chapter: Quality of Life and Coping With Chronic Illness and Disability: A Temporal Perspective
The concept of quality of life (QOL), as a psychosocial construct, process, measure, goal, and outcome, has gained much popularity in the rehabilitation literature during the past 35 years. As both a goal (i.e., assisting clients with chronic illnesses and disabilities (CIDs) to attain a better QOL) and a process-outcome indicator (i.e., assessing both subjective and objective levels of QOL during and following rehabilitation interventions), QOL has become one of the most prominent and central concepts in the field of rehabilitation. This chapter familiarizes the reader with the conceptual and temporal parallelism underlying the domains of community interventions and personal coping, of which rehabilitation services are an essential component, as part of their joint goal to improve QOL. It provides examples from the field of psychosocial rehabilitation, and more specific coping with CID, that address the temporal nature of QOL-improving coping strategies.
In this chapter, the book’s editors, Marini and Stebnicki presents a compelling and provocative reflection on the counseling profession. They summarize salient aspects of dealing with culture and disability that reflect how services are provided in an evidence-based practice environment. Each editor offers opinions and considerations for counseling professionals in the 21st century. Together, they hypothesize an inconvenient and potentially frightening future for Americans, particularly those of lower socioeconomic status, many of whom are minorities with disabilities. The chapter explores the ramifications of social class and classism, whereby social injustice perpetuates and exacerbates classism. In particular, Marini and Stebnicki call on counselors and related helping professionals to take a more active role in advocating beyond their traditional narrowly focused job duties of working almost exclusively with the client to adapt and survive in an able-bodied world.
Accepting the handicapped person as a full human being means accepting him or her as having the full range of human needs. The location of institutions and the houses in which handicapped people can live becomes important because their location within communities enables participation of the handicapped in community offerings. Architectural barriers become an issue because their elimination enables people with a wide range of physical abilities to have access to events within buildings at large. The lives of handicapped people are inextricably a part of a much wider socioeconomic political and ethical society affecting the lives of all people. It is therefore essential for all of us to remain vigilant to protect and extend the hard-won gains of recent decades and to be ready to counter undermining forces. Vigilance requires thoughtful action guided by continuing reevaluation of the effectiveness of present efforts and alertness to needs of changing conditions.
This chapter provides the reader with an overview of (a) the dynamics (i.e., process) of psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness and disabilities (CID), (b) methods commonly used to assess psychosocial adaptation to CID, and (c) intervention strategies applied to people with CID. The chapter groups the psychosocial adaptation to CID under three headings: basic concepts such as stress, loss and grief, and quality of life, CID-triggered reactions, and CID-related coping strategies. The literature on CID-related coping strategies is vast. The chapter describes only a cursory overview of the most commonly reported strategies, directly related to coping with CID. It first briefly discusses the concept of coping and illustrates its relevance to CID. Over the past half century, a large number of measures of psychosocial adaptation to and coping with CID have been reported in the literature. The chapter reviews only those psychometrically sound measures most frequently reported in the literature.