Disability-Competent Care

Disability-Competent Care

This Diversity & Justice Practice resource provides a foundation for integrating disability content into social work practice. Given the prevalence of disability, social workers will encounter people with disabilities in a wide variety of settings including health systems, schools, and mental health agencies, and through agencies serving older adults, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and individuals with physical disabilities. Considering the systemic discrimination that many individuals with disabilities face, social work educators, with the profession’s commitment to social and economic justice and the promotion of the dignity and worth of all persons, have a clear mandate to help students gain skills for disability-competent practice across populations and settings.

To this end, the Curricular Resource on Issues of Disability and Disability-Competent Care was designed with two objectives in mind. The first is to outline how content on disability aligns with specific values and competencies of social work education as defined by CSWE’s 2015 Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. The second is to provide specific classroom resources for social work educators. The guide incorporates the framework of the disability-competent care (DCC) model, a person-centered care approach. The DCC model is based on three core values: the individual needs of the participant, respect for the participant’s choices, and the elimination of medical and institutional bias. Educators can draw from the various teaching resources provided here to fit their teaching objectives. Teaching resources include in-class exercises, fact sheets, media examples, assessments, slides assignments, personal stories, and readings, including a searchable database by type of resource and competency. An informative video and webinar are also included. See also pedagogical approaches to using the Curricular Resource in the classroom.

Teaching Resources

Curricular Resource on Issues of Disability and Disability-Competent Care 
Companion Database
Companion Resource Database (searchable spreadsheet version)          
Companion Resource Database (accessible version)     

Supplemental Webinar and Video

Webinar: Building Skills to Integrate Disability Competent Practice in the Social Work Curriculum 
Webinar Transcript 
Webinar PowerPoint Presentation Slides 
EnABLEing the Social Work Curriculum Video

Jeanne Matich-Maroney is an associate professor of social work at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY and co-chair of the CSWE Council on Disabilities & Persons With Disabilities. As a social work educator and researcher, she draws on 15 years of practice experience in mental health and intellectual disabilities and has particular research interest in the trauma impacts of sexual abuse on adults with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Matich-Maroney earned her BS (social work), MSW, and PhD at New York University Silver School of Social Work.
Dr. Matthew Bogenschutz is an assistant professor at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Social Work and co-chair of the CSWE Council on Disabilities & Persons With Disabilities. He is social work core faculty for the interprofessional Virginia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Program and has a research affiliation with VCU’s Partnership for People with Disabilities, where his federally funded work concentrates on policy solutions that can enable full community inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Dr. Bogenschutz earned his MSW and PhD at the University of Minnesota.