Considering the culture of disability in cultural competence within applied behavior analysis : a brief survey exploration and literature review




Medina, Taryn Nicole

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Although there is growing interest in intersectionality within the Applied Behavior Analysis field to improve cultural competency, there is a huge absence of viewing disability culture as a critical component of cultural responsiveness. Strategies to improve cultural competency for practitioners have been discussed in multiple studies targeting other social identities and the detrimental implementations for stakeholders if not done. However, the culture of disability is rarely ever addressed within these discussions. To ascertain whether there are interventions of applying DisCrit or training that addresses disability as a culture for practitioners, a literature review was conducted. Specifically, there was zero studies within the ABA field that speak on the gravity of including disability culture as an important factor in establishing socially relevant behaviors despite all clients having to identify with a disability to gain services. As such, this article has two purposes; (a) a literature review that investigates existing studies containing interventions who either apply DisCrit or a component of disability culture in response to increasing cultural responsiveness within their field, and (b) to collect exploratory survey data of BCBA knowledge regarding concepts related to disability culture. Researchers argue that until disability culture is considered within the cultural competency of ABA, it is in ethical breach of its own code and must be dismantled. In addition, researcher provide implications and considerations for practitioners moving forward.


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