They were rarely ever home, so I saw their remnants: the lightly crinkled New York Times sprawled on the kitchen table, the overturned, half-opened books in their overflowing personal library, the TV consistently left on the National Geographic channel.
1. The writer believes that language fluency is an essential ingredient of cultural competence, and social workers seeking to become culturally competent in working with a population should be able to communicate with clients directly in the language of that population. This position goes beyond NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work, which states that language competency requirements may be met through the effective use of interpreters. What are some of the positives and negatives of learning a language in order to provide culturally competent services?
2. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in all public services and venues. In the past, this agency has referred deaf clients for services elsewhere, rather than providing services that it felt might not be culturally competent, and where social workers would not be able to communicate directly with clients without the use of an interpreter.
a. Using the ADA website, research the provisions of the Act. How would they be applied to the past position of the agency in terms of providing services to clients who could not be served directly because of language barriers? Assuming that other appropriate resources for services exist, are they required to provide services using an interpreter, or may they routinely refer clients elsewhere? Would the requirements differ if there were no other appropriate services available?
3. California’s Proposition 63 provides funds to enhance mental health services. In the case presented, various needs were identified by consumers, social workers, other clinicians, and the author as important to enhancing mental health services. What methods or structures would you utilize to determine how funds should be allocated, and which identified needs should be given priority?
4. Empowerment and advocacy clearly support the consumer movement in mental health services. Within this framework, the author of this case is struggling to determine her role as a professionally trained social worker. How would you define a culturally competent professional role within the context of the consumer movement?
Focusing on the rhetoric of ableism at the level of the warrants used to interpret disability, this article closely examines the way Aristotle's Generation of Animals relies on the equivocation "normal is natural."
Copyright (c) 2011 James L.
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