Social Work Practice and People with Disabilities: Our Future Selves

  • Lisa S. Patchner
Keywords: Disability, Consumer, Driven Care, Health, Quality of Life Measurement, Person Centered Planning


During the past fifty years a revolution in how we recognize advocate, medically treat, and interact with people with disabilities has taken place within contemporary society. From historical civil rights legislation to greater access to society’s rights and benefits, to technological advances and population longevity, people with disabilities are integrating themselves into society. As we begin to explore the 21st Century new concerns regarding the cost of chronic care and society’s desire to fund these costs are beginning to emerge. The desire to qualify the cost of care by functional longevity has begun to emerge in both private and public service delivery systems. As professional social workers begin to expand their sociopolitical influence, they will be challenged to uphold the rights of self-determination that people with disabilities have striven to attain.