Viewing Disability Through a Cultural Lens

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CONFERENCE: URI Diversity Week

URI Diversity Week

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Korn, Maggie; Ramsdell, Paige
conference paper description
Paige Ramsdell, Coordinator, and Maggie Korn, Counselor, Disability Services for Students. Historically, the experience of the disability community in the U. S. has been defined by a medical model that has emphasized the “deficit” of their biological condition as the most salient factor of their identity. With the rise of multiculturalism in the 1970’s, the disability community has increasingly positioned itself as a cultural group belonging to a discrete group bound by common experiences, and an identity and status. This workshop discusses the implications of this paradigm shift, the ways different cultures view disability, and the debate comparing social progress in viewing disability as cultural diversity with medical progress in prenatal screenings of certain disabilities.