- Disability is no longer focused on just mental retardation, and its broadening description allows for social workers to have more of a positive impact on both individuals with disabilities and the field itself. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 217)
- The World Health Organization considers a disability to be any restriction or lack of ability to perform a activity in the manner or within the range considered to be normal for a human being. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 217)
- There are other definitions of disability floating around as well. For example, social workers Romel Mackelprang and Richard Salsgiver define disability with an emphasis on social and environmental problems, instead of just individual problems. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 217).
- “The term developmental disabilities began appearing in federal legislation in 1970.” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 218)
- The oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization that’s concern is mental retardation is the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 219)
- The diagnosis of mental retardation used to be determined by a categorical system based on IQ, however over the decades it has evolved to a more functional system that depends on the levels of support needed by an individual. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 219)
- “A child is diagnosed with autism every twenty minutes!” (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 220)
- The history of the development of social work progressed parallel with the history of services to people with mental retardation and developmental disabilities until the 1950s. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 221)
- The behavioral model, crisis intervention, case management, advocacy, strengths model, empowerment, and independent living are all practice models that may be used by a social worker who practices in the field of disabilities and mental retardation. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 224-227)
- Working in the disability field a lot of times ethical dilemmas arise and a social workers are great tools for helping to diffuse the situation. Many times the ethical dilemma that arises is a decision about life and a social worker helps these people faced with right to life and right to die decisions. They provide support and information to help families and expecting parents to consider their options when dealing with a pregnancy that has the potential to produce a child with a disability. (DiNitto & McNeece, 2008, pg. 231)
DiNitto, D., & McNeece, C. (2008). Social work: Issues and opportunities in a challenging profession (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.