top of page
  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Positive Reactions and Healthy Encounters with Disabled Workers: Ameliorate the Ignorance

Updated: May 27, 2020

Movies and television can have substantial influence on our perception of the disabled when we do not have a living example right next to us. Positive media (for example “Rain Man,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and “A King’s Speech” or even T.V.’s Raymond Burr in “Ironside” or Marlee Matlin in “Reasonable Doubts”) tend to be rare. More direct experience through action and advocacy can make for healthy encounters. Working together, we can all move beyond a focus on the disability and move toward valuing the individual. ~ David M. Reile, Ph.D.

FOCUS ON: Overcoming Unemployment

Fear of liability and expensive accommodations in addition to bias, stereotypes and lack of awareness have been found in HR and hiring managers which result in higher unemployment for people with disabilities. Help the disabled workers to conquer those issues with integrity, attendance, work ethic and social skills. Read more.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Counseling and Non-apparent Disabilities

Thoughtful techniques and adjustments in practice can be implemented by counselors who may be serving clients with non-apparent disabilities. Watching for cues from the client while reducing pressure and stress through positive reinforcement can make the career counseling process more inclusive and productive. Read more.

CAREER SPOTLIGHT: Down on the Farm

With the help of the National AgriAbility Project, farmers can continue to farm after experiencing debilitating injuries. Adaptations, such as scooters that work like all-terrain vehicles or lifts that fit onto farm equipment, help the farmers do what they love to do. Read more about how to continue in a agricultural career despite a disability at

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: Advocating for those with Disabilities

In addition to providing education, practical strategies and guidance, professional organizations exert much effort in the areas of advocacy. For example, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) recently called for the restrictive proposal for lower limb prosthetics to be rescinded. With the goal of helping disabled individuals return to active, healthy lives, such advocacy efforts make professional association membership and action worthwhile for all. Read more at

TOP TEN: Myths and Stereotypes about Disabilities

Society assumes that all disabled people are of a “single one-dimensional cluster with the same interests and needs.” This myth, and all the others about disabled people, tend to persist over generations and geographical boundaries. Read and work to eradicate these myths at


The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others. - Dag Hammarskjold
I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. - Christopher Reeve


bottom of page