Shifting Perspectives: Enhancing Healthcare Professionals' Awareness Through a Disability Studies Undergraduate Curriculum

Kathleen McGoldrick, Deborah Zelizer, Sharon A. Ray

Abstract


Disability Studies has experienced steady growth in the humanities, the social sciences, and education departments of a growing number of United States colleges and universities. One area of study that has remained static is undergraduate health science, where the number of schools offering a degree in disability studies has grown slightly from two in 2009 (Cushing & Smith, 2009b; Taylor & Zubal-Ruggieri, 2013) to four in 2015 (Zubal-Ruggieri, 2015). Some disability scholars believe that health science students are missing out on an opportunity to incorporate this perspective into their outlook and approach to disability. Longmore (1991) believes that "students interested in healthcare . . . need to have the opportunity to study this [disability] in the same way that they have the opportunity to study women's history or African American history or Asian history" (Stanford University News Service, Silent Screen Villains section, para.12).  This opportunity can shape a group of healthcare professionals who view disability from a unique individual perspective. The purpose of this survey research study was to examine alumni self-perception of the impact of completing a one-semester (16 credit) disability studies concentration in an undergraduate health science major. Fifty-one alumni from a New York area public research 1 level university who graduated between 2006 and 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a concentration in Disability Studies were surveyed to examine their perception of the helpfulness of the curriculum in four areas: practice and/or post-graduate study, comfort level interacting with people with disability, confidence level in ability to work with people with disability, and sensitivity and awareness of disability issues. This survey research study used descriptive statistics to analyze the responses to 10 Likert questions. The paper also includes comments from one open-ended question that allowed respondents to add additional thoughts and comments. The results strongly indicated that the health science alumni perceived a positive increase in the four focus areas as a result of completing the disability studies concentration.


Keywords


Disability Studies, Health Science, Undergraduate Programs, Disability Studies Curriculum

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


Albrecht, G. L., & Devlieger, P. J. (1999). The disability paradox: High quality of life against all odds. Social Science & Medicine, 48, 977-988. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(98)00411-0

Barnes, C. (1999). Disability studies: New or not so new directions? Disability & Society,

(4), 577-580. doi: 10.1080/09687599926136

Block, P. (2004). Disability studies in the belly of the beast. Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4).

Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Block, P., Ricafrente-Biazon, M., Russo, A., Chu, K. Y., Sud, S., Koerner, l., …Olowu, T.

(2005). Introducing disability studies to occupational therapy students. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 59(5), 554-560. Retrieved from http://ajot.aota.org

Boyle, M., Williams, B., Brown, T., Molloy, A., McKenna, L., Molloy, E., & Lewis, B. (2010).

Attitudes of undergraduate health science students toward patients with intellectual disability, substance abuse, and acute mental illness: A cross sectional study. BMC Medical Education, 10(71). Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6920/10/71

Brewer, E., & Brueggemann, B. J. (2014). The view from DSQ. Disability Studies Quarterly,

(2). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Campbell, M., Sheets, D., & Strong, P. (1999). Secondary health conditions among middle-aged individuals with chronic physical disabilities: Implications for unmet needs for services. Assistive Technology: The Official Journal of RESNA, 11(2), 105-122. doi: 10.1080/10400435 .1999.10131995

Chen, L., Kirchner, C., & Kudlick, C. (2004). Guidelines for disability studies: Highlights of

a 2004 SDS listserv discussion. Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4). Retrieved from http://dsq-sds.org.

Cushing, P., & Smith, T. (2009a). A multinational review of English-language disability studies

degrees and courses. Disability Studies Quarterly, 29(3). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Cushing, P., & Smith, T. (2009b). Table 2: Schools with disability studies degrees for a

multinational review of English-language disability studies degrees and courses. Disability Studies Quarterly, 29(3). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Evans, J. E. (2004). Why the medical model needs disability studies (and vice-versa): A

perspective from rehabilitation psychology. Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Farel, A. (2004). Teaching across the continuum: From disability studies to public health

leadership. Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Hayward, K. (2004). A slowly evolving paradigm of disability in public health education.

Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Hoang, L., LaHousse, S. F., Nakaji, M. C., & Sadler, G. R. (2011). Assessing Deaf cultural competency of physicians and medical students. Journal of Cancer Education, 26, 175-182. doi: 10.1007/sl3187-010-0144-4

Iezzoni, L. I. (2009). Public health goals for persons with disabilities: Looking ahead to 2020. Disability and Health Journal 2(3), 111-115. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ j.dhjo.2009.03.002

Iezzoni, L. I., Ramanan, R. A., & Drews, R. E. (2005). Teaching medical students about

communication with patients who have sensory or physical disabilities. Disability Studies Quarterly, 25(1). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Kessler Foundation and National Organization on Disability. (2010). The ADA, 20 years later: Survey of Americans with disabilities. Retrieved from http://www.2010disabilitysurveys.org/pdfs/surveysummary.pdf

Lennox, N.G., & Kerr, M. P. (1997). Primary health care and people with an intellectual disability: The evidence base. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 41(5), 365-72.

Linton, S. (1998). Disability studies/not disability studies. Disability and Society, 13(4), 525-

doi: 10.1080/09687599826588

Linton, S. (2006). Reassigning meaning. In Davis, L. (Ed.), The Disabilities Studies Reader (2nd ed.), (pp. 161-172). New York, NY: Routledge.

Lubet, A. (2004). Can disability studies survive and prosper within medically-modeled curricula?

Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Meade, M., Mahmoudi, E., & Lee, S.Y. (2015). The intersection of disability and healthcare disparities: A conceptual framework. Disability and Rehabilitation, 37(7), 632-641. doi: http://dx.doi.org.proxy.library.stonybrook.edu/10.3109/09638288.2014.938176

Pfeiffer, D., Ah Sam, A., Guinan, M., Ratliffe, K., Robinson, N. B., & Stodden, N. (2003).

Attitudes toward disability in the helping professions. Disability Studies Quarterly, 23(3), 132-149. Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Price, M. A. (2004). Reminding ourselves of the often overlooked - education and training of

home health aides. Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Saldana, J. (2009). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. London, England: Sage Publications Ltd.

Seelman, K. D. (2004). Disability studies in education of public health and health professionals:

Can it work for all involved? Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Shakespeare, T. (2013). The social model of disability. In Davis, L. (Ed), The Disabilities Studies Reader (4th ed.) (pp. 214-221). New York, NY: Routledge.

Shakespeare, T., Iezzoni, L., & Groce, N. (2009, November 28). Disability and the training of

health professionals. The Lancet, 374(9704), 1815-1816. doi: 10.1016/50140-6736(09)62050-X

Society for Disability Studies. (2016a). Society for Disability Studies guidelines for

disability studies programs. Retrieved from https://disstudies.org/index.php/about-sds/what-is-disability-studies/

Society for Disability Studies. (2016b). Society for Disability Studies mission statement. Retrieved from https://www.disstudies.org/about/mission-and-history

Stanford University News Service. (1991, May). Scholar uncovers hidden history of people with

disabilities. [Press Release]. Retrieved from http://www.stanford.edu/dept/news/pr/91/

Steinberg, A. G., Wiggins, E. A., Barmada, C. H., & Sullivan, V. J. (2002) Deaf women: Experiences and perceptions of healthcare system access. Journal of Women's Health, 11(8), 729-741. doi:10.1089/15409990260363689

Taylor, S., & Zubal-Ruggieri, R. (October, 2013). Academic programs in disability studies.

Retrieved from Syracuse University Center on Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies website http://disabilitystudies.syr.edu/resources/programsinds.aspx

Turk, M.A., Scandale, J., Rosenbaum, P.F., & Weber, R. J. (2001). The health of women with cerebral palsy. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 12(1), 153-168. PMID: 11853034

Vidali, A., Price, M., & Lewiecki-Wilson, C. (2008). Introduction: Disability studies in the

undergraduate classroom. Disability Studies Quarterly, 28(4). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Wright, B. A. (2004). Redefining disability to promote equality: The role of disability studies in

educating occupational therapists. Disability Studies Quarterly, 24(4). Retrieved from http://www.dsq-sds.org

Zubal-Ruggieri, R. (November, 2015). Academic programs in disability studies.

Retrieved from Syracuse University|Disability Studies website http://disabilitystudies.syr.edu/programs-list/




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15353/cjds.v7i1.401

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




 

The Canadian Journal of Disability Studies is Published by the Canadian Disability Studies Association-Association Canadienne des Études sur l'Incapacité, and is hosted and supported by the University of Waterloo.

ISSN 1929-9192 Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (Online)