Nickie Coby (puppybraille) wrote,
Nickie Coby

Self-determination and disability

>I was re-reading through some of my textbook this morning in preparation for the test I took for my Intro to Social Work class. One thing I noticed in the diversity chapter was that disability does have another chapter devoted to it, but I also noticed that disability wasn't viewed necessarily in the lightt I would have hoped it would have been viewed in. I'm hoping I'm wrong. I'm hoping that we'll get to the chapter on disability and I'll discover that I am jumping to conclusions. But I wondered some things.

Why wasn't it mentioned that self-determination is extremely important for people with disabilities? Why didn't the textbook mention that the lack of belief in self-determination has made those of us with disabilities feel marginalized? This is the big one. Self-determination is supposed to be one of the halmarks of social work. I want to know whether the text book will actually talk about that later, encouraging this kind of thought?

Part of my problem is that I'm sitting here, and I know just enough to be dangerous. I know a little bit about social work (not much at all). And I know a lot about my own experience with disability, and that of others, at least to the extent of reading a lot about the disability civil rights movement in books, articles and blogs counts for knowing about others' situations and struggles. I am excited about the ways in which we are finding empowerment. I am excited about the ways in which I am able to work with others to make changes. It's so cool to be able to share my own story and learn from the stories others share.

But I want more! I want to learn about the role social work could play in this movement. Again, using the integrative model (sorry, can't stop with the jargon), it would be really cool to learn about this stuff. My frustration isn't so much with the textbook's author, which is why I'm not including a name or book title. My frustration is with the ways in which I want to learn more, and do more. I also don't want to steam-roller over others when we do get to these topics in greater depths. I believe my professors and classmates will have a lot to teach me in the area of disability.

Never pray for patience, because God will make you learn it says an old joke. So, please, don't pray I become patient (just kidding!). It's just so cool, and exciting. Could this really be the area for me? Could I really have a chance to work in all of these areas? Could it really be this exciting and cool?

Tags: disability related, socialwork

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