Foundations of Disability Work

Foundations of Disability Work

Development of a profile and critical analysis using a theoretical framework.

a. Profile either an individual with a disability or person who has a family member with a disability, identifying impact and needs:

b. Critical analysis using a theoretical framework analysis the impact of disability on the individual’s or a family life.

1 – Identify a person who you can research or interview regarding the impact of the disability. It may be someone with a disability or a family member. The person may be known to you who has a story that you can research- such as online, on TV, Books or in the print media

2. Develop a series of research questions- you will used them in your interview, or they will guide you when reading about the person

3 – If interviewing a person, give clear information about the use of the information. And that it will not include identifying information make sure you have their consent to use the information they share with you.

4- Write a profile on the person. Do not include identifying information such as name and address including information about their experience of disability such as the impact it has on different aspect of their life, what they need to live a quality life.

5- Analysis the information you have research by apply a theoretical framework or approach to analysis the impact of the disability on the person.Order Now from Course ResearchersDevelopment of a Profile and Critical Analysis Example

Noble, not his real name, is a seventeen year-old living with a hearing disability. He lives with his parents in my friend’s neighborhood. Having known him through my friend for quite some long, it was easier for me to know much about him even before the interview. Noble suffered a hearing impairment at the age of seven years old following a major head injury from which he retained two scars on his head.  Having grown in a densely populated neighborhood he has learnt much about the perspectives of diverse groups of people on disability particularly the hearing impairment. Before his hearing loss, Noble was attending a normal school but had to relocate to an educational institution offering inclusive education. The choice for Noble in my assignment was largely informed by my access to him and the wide range of experiences that he has had due to his wide exposure. Before the interview, I obtained Noble’s consent to utilize his profile for the purpose of my assignment which he gladly accepted.

Research Questions

  1. What is the degree of the hearing impairment that you are suffering from? Do you hear some specific sounds in the environment? Can you detect sounds which are very loud?
  2. Have you used any hearing aids since the time you suffered the hearing loss? Were they effective? If you once used them, why did you stop?
  3. How do you communicate with your family and people in the neighborhood? Is it different from how you communicate at school?
  4. How did your parents react when you lost your hearing ability? Did your friends start to treat you differently?
  5. Do you feel safe in the neighborhood? Do some people discriminate against you?
  6. How do you feel about the treatment that you get from people (family, friends and strangers)?
  7. What is your stance about the on the provision of equal rights for all people? Do you feel that people without disabilities have certain privileges that people with disabilities lack access to?
  8. Are you under any medical interventions to treat your condition currently? Do you think that the interventions may change your condition in future?
  9. What is your general perception about life?


According to Noble, living as a deaf in a speaking world is really challenging especially if one was once had the ability to hear. Adjusting life to live as a deaf person was not an easy task for him. As a child, he had only learnt the most basic gestures such as beckoning, nodding and shaking. However, with deafness, Noble had to learn the sign language extensively so as to aid in his communication. Being deaf has altered all his life experiences as well as those of his close family. His parents and siblings too had to learn sign language. Even though his nuclear family has learnt to embrace his challenge over the years, the distant relatives sometimes act as if they are despising him.

His social life has completely been altered by the disability. Noble desires to go out with his fellow teens and spend time together at the movies but he cannot engage in such activities. Although he is able to see the pictures in motion, he is totally unable to discern their meaning in the absence of sound. He wishes that he would be able to drop his disability and experience the world in a more fulfilling way. Noble tries as much as possible to lip read, an art that he has been able to acquire overtime. However, he says that he can only understand less than fifty percent in the conversation that he experiences solely through lip-reading. Though helpful, lip-reading may not be possible in incidences where eye-contact with the speaker is limited or the space is dark.

Noble says that the most gratifying experiences in life are realized when he meets people who are willing to establish a connection with him. Despite some people being so insensitive to his condition, he is happy that there a section of people who are quite understanding and willing to share stories with him. His family is so supportive and strives to involve him in all family conversations. The teachers at his school are also kind and play a key role in teaching him the strategies that he can use to communicate. Apart from his family, teachers, colleagues at school and his close friends, Noble feels that a big section of the rest of the society is so unkind to not only him but all the deaf people. The society holds so many beliefs about the deaf without any clear justification. The stereotypes held by the society towards disabled people deny them equal opportunities making them to undergo major intergenerational injustices.

The stereotypes at times lower Noble’s self-esteem. Some people believe that the deaf can hear when shouted at. Noble says that he encounters many people who shout at him thinking that he will hear them. He dislikes this and states that it makes communication even harder. The society’s belief that the deaf people are less intelligent and under-achievers makes him to work harder at school even though he believes that his hard work may not pay off in the future as it should because he is deaf. Noble is able to use speech although he uses it on rare occasions. The usage of speech is against most people’s belief that the deaf cannot speak.Order Now from Course ResearchersNoble’s problem is primarily linked to his inability to develop a self-identity and find a safe environment to exercise it. To lead a more quality life, there is need to help him build a positive identity about himself. Self-identity will increase his self-awareness which will consequently make him to celebrate his uniqueness (WHO, 2011). He should understand that his current life has been shaped by a blend of positive and negative experiences which should all be embraced. Societies are largely stereotypical towards people with disabilities. There is an increasing need to create disability-friendly communities which offer opportunities for socialization for all individuals. The creation of more sensitive societies will enable Noble to lead a more meaningful life free from prejudice and discrimination.

Application of Social Role Valorization (SRV) on Hearing Impairment

SRV is a framework developed by Wolf Wolfersberger in 1983 which has gained much popularity in the analysis of social educational and psychological phenomena. Wolfersberger explores the relationships of societally differentiated people in social settings. People who are different from what the societies perceive as the norm are usually devalued, treated poorly and assigned low value roles (Wolfersberger, 1998). Devaluation, in the context of the framework, refers to the judgement people make about others relative to their value (Armstrong, 2006). Much often, people try to compare their worth with that of others which results into negative portrayal of the people who do not conform to the set societal standards. Hearing loss and other disabilities are societal differentiations that account for major devaluations in the society.

People with a hearing impairment, despite having many other positive images are mostly depicted through their perceived negative image. The society holds many myths about the deaf. Stereotypically, the people with hearing impairment are expected to be underachievers, slow in communication and generally uninteresting as their experience of life through hearing is limited (GagnĂ©, Southall, & Jennings, 2011). Most people in the society believe that the deaf people fit in roles such as ‘being old’, and cognitively diminished. The stereotypes that are socially attached to hearing impairment, according to Kochkin (2010), imply that the society largely misunderstands the deaf. Kochkin (2010), notes that hearing impairment should not be equated to an intellectual challenges or personality and character deficiencies. The misconceptions labelled against the hearing impaired clearly show that the people face many social risks.

The deaf people in the society are considered devalued people. As a result, their maltreatment is almost justified. The legitimization of ill treatment towards the deaf in the society has detrimental impacts on them (Oliver, 1996). Even when getting adequate support from their families, the deaf people remain largely wounded. For instance, Noble despite his family having fully embraced him, is stigmatized. The societal forces towards his identity have driven him to live in denial hoping that he will once be able to regain his hearing ability. Noble has a low self-esteem, lives in distress and shame. He not only experiences social stigma but also self-stigma. Although he works hard at school, Noble believes that the roles attached to the deaf in the society will not allow him an equal opportunity with those with an equal achievement as him. The experience of deafness is devastating to Noble as he has faced abandonment from a section of his familiar community. Noble is unable to school in a similar school that he used to school in before deafness struck. The society usually downplays the impact of stereotyping on the hearing impaired.

To create better and safer spaces for the deaf in the society, there is a need to perform a sensitive analysis on the impact of devaluation on the victims and their close relatives. A sensitive view of the existing socialization towards the people who have disabilities will shed more light on their experiences (Davis, 2013). Assessing the experiences of the deaf more objectively in the society is likely to inform the society on the best practices. The first step towards deaf-friendly communities is creating awareness on the current devaluation. The awareness will necessitate proactive measures to safeguard the interests of the deaf in the society who have occupied disadvantaged positions for quite some long.

The preexisting measures set to protect the interests of the deaf have not been effective in most contexts. To make the measures effective, there is a need to progress systematically, beginning from the step of creating awareness. The society needs to understand that devaluation of the deaf in the society is an institutionalized phenomenon that needs to be addressed. Creation of awareness will make the process more effective as people will act from free will as opposed to coercion.


Armstrong, J. (2006). The Application of Social Role Valorization in Supporting People with an Intellectual Disability – An Overview. Journal of Social Role Valorization, 2(2), 1-6.

Davis, L. J. (2013). The Disability Studies Reader (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.

Gagné, J.-P., Southall, K., & Jennings, B. M. (2011). Stigma and Self-stigma Associated with Acquired Hearing Loss in Adults. The Hearing Review.

Kochkin, M. S. (2010). Obstacles to Adult Non-User Adoption of Hearing Aids. Hearing Journal, 60(4), 24-51.

Oliver, M. (1996). Defining Impairment and Disability: Issueas at Stake. In C. Barnes, & G. Mercer (Eds.), Exploring the Divide (pp. 29-54). Leeds: The Disability Press.

WHO. (2011). World Report on Disability. Geneva: WHO Press.

Wolfersberger, W. (1998). A Brief Introduction to Social Role Valorization: A high-order concept for addressing the plight of societally devalued people, and for structuring human services (3rd ed.). Syracuse NY: Training Institute for Human Service Planning, Leadership and Change Agentry.

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