Aspects of Culture Influencing Rehabilitation and Persons with Disabilities

Elias Mpofu, Julie Chronister, Ebonee T. Johnson, Geoff Denham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Disability is largely defined by the sociocultural context in which it is perceived and in relation to the atypicality with which a person identified as having a disability participates in ordinary activities of daily living. The ways in which social others perceive the category of disability influences access to resources for participation, so that some disabilities may result in more restrictions to participation than others. Rehabilitation interventions for people with disabilities seek to maximize quality of daily life in typical community settings. Communities as participation environments differ in the extent to which they are structured to enable the full inclusion of others who may have disabilities. Concepts rooted in a human rights perspective to disability enable checks on assumptions on which opportunities for community participation are configured and distributed to accommodate the full range of human attributes, thus making it likely for changes to occur toward disability-inclusive sociocultural systems. Culturally safe contexts for participation are those that enable those with a disability to have the same access to resources for activities of daily living as those without disability. Research is needed on sociocultural systems to determine full community participation of people with disabilities and how this can best be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Rehabilitation Psychology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199971169
ISBN (Print)9780199733989
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cultural safety
  • Culture
  • Disability
  • Human rights
  • Participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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