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.
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The root causes of social injustice are in part centralized around wealth inequities, politicians, and legislation favoring the wealthy, discrimination, and a Darwinian mentality. 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 between 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.