Advancing Disability Policy: Opportunities and Obstacles

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ABSTRACT.This article highlights opportunities for psychologists to advance disability policy. Obstacles discussed include disabling attitudes, lack of knowledge, and financial interests. The article calls for increased involvement of consumers in research design and greater emphasis on research related to social participation and environmental accommodation for persons with a disability. The need for advocacy in promoting adequate research funding and informing policymakers regarding research findings is emphasized. Continued efforts are needed to broaden psychology training to include more content regarding the social and environmental aspects of disability. Active recruitment into psychology training programs of students with a disability can enhance these efforts. The development of psychological interventions in collaboration with consumer-run organizations is a useful model. Public policies related to reimbursement for services will require continued advocacy.

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