Culture and Disability provides information about views of disability in other cultures and ways in which rehabilitation professionals may improve services for persons from other cultures, especially recent immigrants. The book includes chapters with descriptions of the interaction of culture and disability. A model on "Culture Brokering" provides a framework for addressing conflicts that often arise between service providers and clients from differing cultures. Seven chapters discuss the cultural perspectives of China, Jamaica, Korea, Haiti, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Vietnam, focusing on how disability is understood in these cultures.

Immigrants, Disability, and Rehabilitation

Immigrants, disability, and rehabilitation


In 1909, Israel Zangwill published a popular melodrama titled The Melting-Pot. Although the plot of Zangwill's play has long been forgotten by most, the title, for many, came to represent an assumption about cultural assimilation that has characterized much American social policy—including rehabilitation and disability policy—over the intervening decades.

This assumption, common well into the 1970s and 1980s, was that it was incumbent on immigrants to America to take on a new, national identity while rapidly abandoning their own ethnic identity or heritage in the process. Actually, even in its heyday, the concept of a “melting pot” was never applied equally within American society. Immigrants from Puerto Rico or Italy or Japan were criticized if they did not quickly ...

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