Articles in this Issue
The guest editor's perspective.
As she defines disability, Ms. Venzke explains the difference between “disability” and “impairment” and discusses the usage of these words. She introduces two models frequently used in understanding disability and relates these to both the individual and society. She continues by examining how society views those with an impairment pointing out both positive and negative factors.
As a part of his Social Role Valorization theory, Wolfensberger describes 18 wounds that devalued people face. These might also be referred to as the “social consequences of disability.”
Without a complete understanding of what disability is, human services may not adequately address personal and social environmental issues—they may even exacerbate them. Some factors regarding disability can be attributed to discrimination in the social environment. In his discussion of human services delivery, the author focuses on faith communities, pointing out at least seven benefits they provide.
Lessons from China and the West
Families affected by disability have a number of common emotions and experiences regardless of ethnicity or geographical location. The author looks at common concerns, struggles, and hopes that parents face when their child is diagnosed with a disability and specifically, with autism. He also alerts us to some of the programs, helps, and therapies available to deal with these concerns.
View From the Wall
The author provides us with some statistics regarding disabled people in China and then looks at what the government and various organizations are doing to serve this segment of the population. She provides brief overviews of their situations in the areas of accessibility issues, laws, rehabilitation, education, employment and the church.
Peoples of China
Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism
Within Chinese culture, people with disabilities have been stigmatized and devalued. This is the result of beliefs which create stereotypes leading to prejudice and discrimination. With a desire to reduce this stigma, scholars are examining Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism to uncover any hidden cultural prejudice and stereotypes causing these attitudes. This is a complex endeavor that requires much sensitivity to cultural nuances. However, the goal is for people to come together in honest dialog and humble sensitivity, unified in purpose and compassion to combat prejudice and discrimination.
A review of Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tada.
As a young woman, Joni was severely injured in a diving accident that physically changed her life. While she has required the use of a wheelchair since then, the dramatic part of her story is her spiritual transformation.
Two resources for those seeking to serve those with disabilities.