According to Horton (1996), empowerment is a process of supporting the whole person by acknowledging, respecting, and incorporating into the services and interventions offered to them aspects of identity such as race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, age, and class.
Regarding empowerment for the disabled in general, Robertson (1994) has stated that it must first be recognized that the disabled are a socially oppressed group. Robertson states that empowerment, as a remedy for this situation, lies in the development of a growing awareness of a new group consciousness and an emerging disability culture.
According to Robertson (1994), empowerment of the disabled requires an understanding of and the ability to deal with a wide variety of issues, practices, policies, and so froth. These are said to include: the social attitudes toward individuals with disabilities; the effects of using a medical model of disability, with its implications for the objectification and control of people with disabilities; the movement of people with disabilities toward a sociopolitical model as members of a distinct minority group; and the values of this emerging culture such as accepting a disability as a source of pride and viewing life with a disability as worth living and celebrating.
Given the foregoing, empowerment can be defined as both a goal and a process. As a goal, it focuses on restoring status, rights, and privileges which people have been denied by virtue of belonging to a social group that has traditionally been discriminated against. As a process, it consists of strategies developed to meet this goal. Concerning the disabled, empowerment consists of effective strategies for assisting disabled people to deal with various facets and components of their experience which are associated with discrimination.
Significance of Empowerment for Ethnic Minorities
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Counseling Activities after World War II. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 22:03, April 27, 2015, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1304084944.html