Cultural Perspectives of Foreign-born Persons in the U.S. Regarding Disability


Many congregations have members who are immigrants from various countries, some of whom live with disabilities. The monographs linked to in this article will help church leaders minister better to congregation members both by getting a better understanding of the culture and of the culture's perspective toward disability. This article, in it's entirety, has been cut and pasted from an email message received by Disability Concerns.

CIRRIE has developed a thirteen-volume monograph series, The Rehabilitation Provider's Guide to Cultures of the Foreign-Born, which provides specific information on cultural perspectives of foreign-born persons in the U.S., especially recent immigrants. The monographs contain specific information about culture that rehabilitation service providers can use to more effectively meet the needs of foreign-born recipients of rehabilitation services.

The monographs focus on the top ten countries of origin of the foreign-born population in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: Mexico, China, Philippines, India, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Korea, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Cuba. There are additional monographs on the culture of Haiti and the Muslim perspective. Each monograph contains general information about the culture, its values and recommended ways to interact with persons from that culture. There is also specific information about how disability and rehabilitation are viewed in each culture. The monographs are concise and written in non-technical language, to insure that they are user-friendly for busy rehabilitation service providers.

The series also contains an initial introductory monograph, Culture Brokering: Providing Culturally Competent Rehabilitation Services to Foreign-Born Persons. This monograph explains the role of the rehabilitation provider as a "culture broker." Practical information, such as general outreach strategies, actions needed to become familiar and trusted by other cultures, the importance of understanding our own culture, and how to use translators effectively, are also included.

An international conference on this theme was conducted by CIRRIE; you can read its proceedings on our web site.

The Rehabilitation Provider's Guide to Cultures of the Foreign-Born

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