Perspectives on Disability and Rehabilitation: Contesting by Karen Whalley Hammell PhD MSc OT(C) DipCOT

By Karen Whalley Hammell PhD MSc OT(C) DipCOT

It explores concerns which are critical to rehabilitation, corresponding to the character of the physique, the assumption of independence, the rehabilitation technique, evidence-based perform and client-centred perform. looking consistently to floor theoretical rules within the realities of every-day rehabilitation perform, and drawing from a wealth of study proof, the publication constantly examines the results of those views for the schooling, perform, provider supply, learn and theoretical improvement of the rehabilitation professions.

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Indeed, in many countries they were not legally deemed to be ‘people’. ‘These attitudes extended into the whole of the culture: social relations, politics, law, medicine, the arts, popular and academic knowledges’ (Young 2003 p 5). The belief that ‘biology is not destiny’ later became a slogan for feminists who sought to demonstrate that their life possibilities were restricted due to social – not biological – factors. Discrimination based on physical difference is not limited to gender but extends to a hierarchy of differences, in which gender often ‘trumps’ “race”.

Marginalization, depression and suicide One of the assumptions of the rehabilitation professions that has enjoyed considerable longevity is the belief that depression is an inevitable consequence of a serious injury such as spinal cord injury (see Hammell 1992). Reflecting prevailing cultural beliefs that life with a spinal cord injury would not be worth living, early theorists guessed that depression would be both a natural and necessary reaction to injury; therefore the absence of depression signalled a failure to recognize the reality of loss (Burke & Murray 1975, Krueger 1984).

This belief is challenged by disability theorists who argue that political, economic and cultural forces contribute to the experience of marginalization and poverty, not biological ones (Morris 1991). Goble (2003 p 49) argued: ‘disabled people may well be driven to a despair that makes them wish to end their own lives, not as a result of anything inherent in their biological or genetic make-up, but as a result of social discrimination, prejudice and inadequate, inappropriate and oppressive service systems’.

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