Inclusion and people living with hidden disabilities

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Social work promotes social justice and advocates for the full inclusion of people living with disabilities within society. This presentation will outline an auto-ethnographic conversation by social workers into society’s norms about deserving or undeserving – using the example of hidden disability and accessible parking. The purpose of this research project is to question the current societal perceptions of disability and to focus on the constructs of 'you must see a disability to have it' or 'I walk and talk therefore I must be OK'. It answers the question in light of the presenters’ experiences, how does society acknowledge and respond to diagnosed hidden disability? It does this by contrasting accessible parking experiences of a social worker living with a hidden disability with the encounters of a social worker caring for someone with visible disabilities and a social worker who does not identify as living with a disability. Evidence based arguments, critical thinking and theoretically informed social work practice underpin this exploration. The presenters will share insights into how social workers may move from reflecting on to promoting social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people living with disabilities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSocial Workers in Disability Conference - University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 24 Nov 201625 Nov 2016 (call for abstracts)


ConferenceSocial Workers in Disability Conference
Abbreviated titleMaximizing Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion
OtherWe are living through a period of seismic change in disability-related policy and practice. We have learned a lot throughout this process, but much is still unknown. The 2016 SWID Conference represents a wonderful opportunity to come together to share insights and to learn from each other for the benefit of people with disabilities, their families and communities, and social work as a profession.

This conference will bring together social work practitioners, researchers and students to share ideas, experiences and new perspectives, so that we are all better equipped and re-energised to meet the challenges that will inevitably continue to confront us.
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