Rehabilitation and Disabilities


Curriculum Guides  – This curriculum guide has been prepared by the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE) under a grant from the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Its purpose is to provide a resource that will assist faculty in speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation counseling programs to integrate cultural competency education throughout their curriculum. (Link)

Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs – The EPICS Project provides training and information directly to Indian parents as well as to organizations and professionals on effectively meeting the educational needs of Indian children with disabilities, including the “transition to adult living.” EPICS also offers training and technical assistance on effective cross cultural communication. (Link)

The National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities (CNLD) – CNLD envisions a world in which the human rights of Latinxs with disabilities are upheld and their intersectional identities embraced.” Their mission is “to advocate, provide resources, and build community for Latinxs with disabilities.”  The group also drafted several goals including “(1) building a national community of Latinxs with disabilities and their service providers and advocates, (2) protecting the rights of Latinxs with disabilities, and (3) providing educational and legal resources on issues important to our community.” (Link)

Culture and Disability – A 50 minute video presentation by CIRRIE director John Stone (2013). (link)

The Rehabilitation Provider’s Guide to Cultures of the Foreign-Born – An eleven-volume monograph series that provides specific information on cultural perspectives of foreign–born persons in the United States. (Link)

Culture in the Curriculum – The Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information & Exchange (CIRRIE) project focuses on the provision of pre-service training and education for students in university rehabilitation programs, by developing teaching materials specific to speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation counseling. As students prepare to enter the fieldwork practicum and internships, the cultural competence portion of the curriculum reflects discipline specific analysis and application.

Interprofessional Simulation Cases for Cultural Competence – Simulation provides opportunities to create clinical events that are infrequent occurrences in clinical field work and bring to life paper cases. Simulation bridges the gap between academic preparation and the work environment of rehabilitation. This project creates simulated clinical encounters with manikins and standardized patients for cultural competence training of rehabilitation students or providers. (Link)

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) –  APTA provides resources and current articles in cultural competence in physical therapy. (Link)


Institute on Disability Culture   

Center of Disability Culture  

Cultural Competence in Physical Therapy 


Agaronnik, N., Campbell, E. G., Ressalam, J., & Iezzoni, L. I. (2019). Exploring issues relating to disability cultural competence among practicing physicians. Disability and Health Journal12(3), 403-410.

American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). Educator’s guide for addressing cultural awareness, humility, and dexterity in occupational therapy curricula. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy74(Supplement_3), 7413420003p1-7413420003p19.

Andrews, E. (2020). Disability as Diversity: Developing Cultural Competence.  UK: Oxford University Press.

Arango-Lasprilla, J., and Kreutzer, J. (2010). Racial and ethnic disparities in functional, psychosocial, and neurobehavioral outcomes after brain injury. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 25 (2), 128-136.

Arango-Lasprilla, J., Ketchum, J., Lewis, A., et al. (2011). Racial and ethnic disparities in employment outcomes for persons with traumatic brain injury: A longitudinal investigation 1-5 years after injury. PM&R, 3:1083-91.

Arango-Lasprilla, J., Ketchum, J. and Drew, A. (2012). Neurobehavioural symptoms 1 year after traumatic brain injury: A preliminary study of  the relationship between race/ethnicity and symptoms. Brain Inj, 26:814-24.

Attenello, F., Wang, K., Wen, T., Cen, S., Kim-Tenser, M., Amar, A., and Mack, W. (2014). Health Disparities in Time to Aneurysm Clipping/Coiling among Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Patients: A National Study. World Neurosurgery, 82(6):1071-6.

Balcazar, F., Taylor-Ritzler, T., Dimpfl, S., Portillo, N., Guzman, A., Schiff, R., & Murvay, M. (2012). Improving the transition outcomes of low-income minority youth with disabilities. Exceptionality, 20: 114-132.

Balcazar, F., Suarez-Balcazar, Y., Taylor-Ritzler, T., and Keys, C. (2010). Race, culture and disability: Rehabilitation science and practice. MA: Jones and Barlett Publishers.

Bangs, D., Hayward, L. M., & Donlan, P. (2020). Cultural Competence and Cultural Humility: A Dialogue on Adopting a Multimodel Approach in Physical Therapist Education. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 10:1097.

Banks, M. (2015). Women with Disabilities: Cultural competence in rehabilitation psychology. Disability and Rehabilitation, 30(3), 184-190.

Barnes, C., Mueller, K., Fawcett, L., & Wagner, B. (2020). Living and dying in a disparate health care system: Rationale and strategies for cultural humility in palliative and hospice care physical therapy. Rehabilitation Oncology38(1), 30-38.

Bateman, C. (2012). One size fits all: Health policies crippling rural rehab – therapists. The South African Medical Journal (SAMJ), 102(4).

Beagan, B. (2015). Approaches to culture and diversity: A critical synthesis of occupational therapy literature. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. doi:10.1177/0008417414567530

Bradley, C., Ebener, D. and Geyer, P. (2013). Contributors to successful VR outcomes among non-Latino (Caucasian) and Latino consumers with hearing loss. Journal of Rehabilitation, 79: 24–33.

Brick, J., Glass, B., and Oliver, R. (2007). Disability and spirituality: A reciprocal relationship with implications for the rehabilitation  process. Disability and Rehabilitation, 29(15), 1153-1163.

Butler M, McCreedy E, Schwer N, et al. (2016), Improving Cultural Competence to Reduce Health Disparities. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); Comparative Effectiveness Reviews, No. 170. (Link)

Castro, D., Dahlin-Ivanoff, S., and Mårtensson. (2014). Occupational therapy and culture: A literature review. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 21(6):401-414.

Chen, S., Ma, L., and Zhang, J.-X. (2011). Chinese undergraduates’ explicit and implicit attitudes toward persons with disabilities. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 55(1), 38–45.

Cheng, L. and Levey, S. (2019). Collaborative Approaches to the Support of People with Disabilities: The Underserved and Unserved. Folia Phoniatr Logop, 71:62–70.

Colbert, A., and Kronk, R. (2020). Equity Access: Online Nursing Education on Care for People with Disabilities.  Journal of Nursing Education, 59(6), 349-351.

Crossley, M. (2015). Disability cultural competence in the medical profession. . Louis UJ Health L. & Pol’y9, 89.

da Siva E., Romero, M., Chan, F., Dutta, A. and Rahimi, M. (2007). Disparities in Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Outcomes for Hispanic Clients with Traumatic Brain Injury: Do They Exist? Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 22(2), 85-94.

Davidson, P., Gholizadeh, L., Haghshenas, A., Rotem, A., DiGiacomo, M., Eisenbruch, M., and Salamonson, Y. (2010). A review of the cultural competence view of cardiac rehabilitation. J Clin Nurs. 19(9-10):1335-42.

Davis-Cheshire, R. and  Crabtree, J. (2019). Evaluating Cultural Competence in an Occupational Therapy Pediatric Course. Occupational Therapy In Health Care.

Doody, O. and Doody, C. (2012). Intellectual disability nursing and transcultural care. British Journal of Nursing, 21(3):174-6, 178-80.

Drum, C., McClain, M., Horner-Johnson, M., and Taitano, G. (2011). Health Disparities Chart Book on Disability and Racial and Ethnic Status in the United States. Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire.

Egede, L., Dismuke, C. and Echols, C. (2011). Racial/ethnic disparities in mortality risk among US veterans with traumatic brain injury. Am J Public Health, 102:S266-71.

Elo, I., Mehta, N., and Huang, C. (2011). Disability Among Native-born and Foreign-born Blacks in the United States. Demography, 48(1), 241–65.

Filingeri, V., Mendez, H. M., Ssu Yu Lin, A., Burks-Abbott, G., Szarkowski, A., & Fogler, J. (2023). Cultural Humility and Cultural Brokering in Professional Training: Insights from People of Color (POC) and Persons with Disabilities (PWD). Developmental Disabilities Network Journal3(1), 13.

Fisher, L. (2013). Use of Culturally Adapted Practices Among Occupational Therapy Practitioners in Work Rehabilitation Settings. Thesis: University of Puget Sound.

Garland-Thomson, R., & Iezzoni, L. I. (2021). Disability cultural competence for all as a model. The American Journal of Bioethics21(9), 26-28.

Grandpierre, V., Millov, V., Sikora, L., Fittzpatrick, E., Thomas, R., and Potter, B. (2018). Barriers and facilitators to cultural competence in rehabilitation services: A scoping review. BMC Health Serv Res., 18(1):23.

Harley, D. and Cartwright, B. (2017). Marginalized Racial and Ethnic Adults with Disabilities in Rural Communities: The Role of Cultural Competence and Social Justice. Disability and Vocational Rehabilitation in Rural Settings pp 151-168.

Harley, D. and Cartwright, B. (2018). “Marginalized Racial and Ethnic Adults with Disabilities in Rural Communities: The Role of Cultural Competence and Social Justice.” In: Harley D., Ysasi N., Bishop M., Fleming A. (eds) Disability and Vocational Rehabilitation in Rural Settings. Springer, Cham.

Hasnain, R., Kondratowicz, D., Borokhovski, E., Nye, C., Balcazar, F., Portillo, N., Hanz, K., Johnson, T., and Gould, G. (2011). Do Cultural Competency Interventions Work? A Systematic Review on Improving Rehabilitation Outcomes for Ethnically and Linguistically Diverse Individuals with Disabilities. SEDL | National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research. (Link)

Hayward, L. and Li, L. (2014). Promoting and Assessing Cultural Competence, Professional Identity, and Advocacy in Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Degree Students Within a Community of Practice. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 28(1), 23-36.

Hayward, M., et. al. (2014). Does the Hispanic Paradox in U.S. Adult Mortality Extend to Disability? Population Research and Policy Review, 33: 81–96.

Hazuda, H., and Espino, D. (2011). “Sociocultural status and burden of disability in aging Mexican Americans. In J. Angel, F. Torres-Gil, & K. Markides (Eds.), Aging, health, and longevity in the Mexican-origin population (pp. 125-157). New York, NY: Springer.

Heer, K., Rose, J. and Larkin. M. (2016). Then challenges of providing culturally competent care within a disability focused team: A phenomenological exploration of staff experience. Journal of Transcultural Nursing,27(2), 109-116.

Heien, E., Kelto, M., and Moser, C. (2012). The Importance of Cultural Competency in Occupational Therapy. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 5(1), 1-14.

Horton-Ikard, R. and Muñoz, M. (2010).  Addressing multicultural issues in communication sciences and disorders.  Contemporary Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders, 37, 167-173.

Hunt, J. E. (2022). Making space for disability studies within a structurally competent medical curriculum: Reflections on Long Covid. (Link)

Jamison, L., Kolakowsky-Hayner, S., and Wright, J. (2012). Preliminary investigation of longitudinal sociodemographic, injury and psychosocial characteristics in a group of non-English speaking Latinos with brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. 26(6), 805-813.

Johnson, J. (2014). Validation and Affirmation of Disability and Deaf Culture: A Content Analysis of Introductory Textbooks to Special Education and Exceptionality. Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 2(1), 14-15.

Jones, A. (2012). Disability, health and generation status: How Hispanics in the US fare in late life. Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, 14: 467-474.

Kaplan, K. B., Tenam-Zemach, M., & Reeves, J. (2023). Improving cultural humility in physical therapy students: What is faculty’s role?. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 1-18.

Kohnert, K. (2013). Language disorders in bilingual children and adults (2nd ed). San Diego, CA: Plural Publishing.

Kramer-Roy, D. (2012). Supporting ethnic minority families with disabled children: learning from Pakistani families. Br J Occup Ther., 75(10):442–8.

Lee, A., Litwin, B., Cheng, S., and Harada, N. (2012). Social Responsibility and Cultural Competence Among Physical Therapists With International Experience. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 26(3), 67-73.

Lefebvre, K. and Lattanzi, J. (2010). Racial and ethnic disparities in health status, health care, and physical therapy. In R. Leavitt (Ed.) Cultural competence: A lifelong journey to cultural proficiency, pp. 99-119. Thorofare, NJ: SLACK.

Lequerica, A., and Krch, D. (2014). Issues of cultural diversity in acquired brain injury (ABI) rehabilitation. NeuroRehabilitation, 34(4), 645-53.

Lindsay, S., Tétrault, S., Desmaris, C., King, G., & Piérart, G. (2014). The cultural brokerage work of occupational therapists in providing culturally sensitive care. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81(2), 114-123.

Magaña, S. Parish, S., Rose, R., Timberlake, M., and Swaine, J. (2012). Racial and ethnic disparities in quality of health care among children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, 50: 287-299.

Matarazzo, B., Hoffberg, A., Clemans, T., Signoracci, G., Simpson, G. & Brenner, L. (2014). Cross-cultural adaptation of the Window to Hope: A psychological intervention to reduce hopelessness among US Veterans with traumatic brain injury. Brain Injury, 28 (10), 1238-1247.

Martin, F. (2010). Racial variation in vocational rehabilitation outcomes: A structural equation modeling approach. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 54(1), 26–35.

Matteliano, M., and Stone, A. (2014). Cultural Competence Education in University Rehabilitation Programs. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 21(3), 112-118.

Mehta, N., Sudharsanan, N., and Elo, I. (2014). “Race/Ethnicity and Disability Among Older Americans.” In K. Whitfield and T. Baker (Eds.), Handbook of Minority Aging. New York: Springer.

Menendez, M., and Ring, D. (2014). Racial and insurance disparities in the utilization of supportive care after inpatient admission for proximal humerus fracture. Shoulder & Elbow, 1758573214536702.

Melchert, B., Gray, M., & Miller, A. (2016). Educator Perspectives on Indigenous Cultural Content in an Occupational Therapy Curriculum. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 45(1), 100-109. doi:10.1017/jie.2016.3

Myaskovsky, L., Burkitt, K., Lichy, A., et al. (2011). The association of race, cultural factors, and health-related quality of life in persons with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 92:441-8.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2018). People living with disabilities: Health equity, health disparities, and health literacy: Proceedings of a workshop. Washington, DC: Author. 

Omu, O. and Reynolds, F. (2012). Health professionals’ perceptions of cultural influences on stroke experiences and rehabilitation in Kuwait. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34(2), 119–127.

Ozcan Edeer, A., & Rust, N. (2022). Effectiveness of Interprofessional Education Modules on Cultural Competency of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Students. Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice20(2), 15.

Palombaro, K., Dole, R. and Black, J. (2015). Curricular Integration and Measurement of Cultural Competence Development in a Group of Physical Therapy Students. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 15(5), 82-96.

Palombaro, K. and Lattanzi, J. (2012). Calculating the minimal detectable change for a cultural competency tool. PTJ-PAL, 12(1), J1-J7.

Pappadis, M., Sander, A., Struchen, M., Leung, P., & Smith, D. (2011). Common misconceptions about traumatic brain injury among ethnic minorities with TBI. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 26 (4), 301-311.

Penn, C. (2014). Asking new questions and seeking new answers: The reality of aphasia practice in South Africa. Top Language Disorders, 34(2), 168–181.

Perrin, P., Krch, D., Sutter, M., Snipes, D., Arango-Lasprilla, J., Kolakowsky-Hayner, S., and Lequerica, A. (2014). Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Mental Health Over the First 2 Years After Traumatic Brain Injury: A Model Systems Study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 95: 2288–2295.

Peterson-Besse, J., Walsh, E., Horner-Johnson, W., Goode, T., & Wheeler, B. (2014). Barriers to Health Care Among People With Disabilities Who are Members of Underserved Racial/Ethnic Groups: A Scoping Review of the Literature. Medical Care, 52, S51-S63.

Prince, D., Sobolev, M., Gao, J. and Taub., C. (2014). Racial disparities in cardiac rehabilitation initiation and the effect on survival. PM R, 6(6), 486-92.

Putman, K., Horn, S., Smout, R., Dejong, G., Deutscher, D., Tian, W. and  Hsieh, C. (2010). Racial disparities in stroke functional outcomes upon discharge from inpatient rehabilitation facilities. Disabil Rehabil., 32(19), 1604-11.

Quality Interaction. (2015). Cultural Competency Feature: Disability and Health Equity. Quality Interactions Newsletter, #48.

Robey, K., Minihan, P., Long-Bellil, L., Hahn, J., Reiss, J. and Eddey, G. (2013). Teaching health care students about disability within a cultural competency context. Disability and Health Journal, 6(4), 271-279.

Romanello, M. (2007). Integration of cultural competence in physical therapist education. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 21(1), 33-39.

San, E. O., Marx, K. A., Latimer, B., Robertiello, G., & Pasklinsky, N. (2022). The Use of Clinical Simulation to Address Disability Content Inclusion in Nursing Education: A Review of The Literature. Clinical Simulation in Nursing.

Schubbe, E. Physical Therapists’ Perceptions of Preparedness to Engage in Culturally Competent Practice Upon Graduation: A Qualitative Research Study. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 10-1097.

Scott, H.  and Havercamp, S.  (2014). Race and health disparities in adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in the United States. Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, 52: 409-418.

Shafiei-Sarvestani, M., and Jahani, E. (2020). Evaluation of cultural competencies of students at school of rehabilitation sciences, Shiraz university of medical sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Journal of Research in Rehabilitation Sciences, 16(1), 51-58.

Shpigelman, C., Zlotnick, C. and Brand, R. (2016). Attitudes toward nursing students with disabilities: Promoting social inclusion. Journal of Nursing Education, 55(8), 441-449,

Smith-Wexler, L. (2015). Cultural competency in TBI rehabilitation: Working together with the ethnic minority population with TBI. Office on Disability Issues in Psychology: Spotlight of Disability Newsletter (July), 7(2).

Sood, D., Cepa, D., Dsouza, A., Saha, S., Aikat, R., and Tuuk, A. (2014). Impact of International Collaborative Project on Cultural Competence among Occupational Therapy Students. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2(3) Article 7.

Steed, R. (2010). Attitudes and beliefs of occupational therapists participating in a cultural competency workshop. Occupational Therapy International, 17(3), 142-151.

Tang, X., Zhao, S., Zhang, M., Zhou, J., Wang, Y. & He, B.  (2022). Effects of Disability Severity on the Family Burden of Home-Dwelling Uygur and Kazakh Aged in Rural Western China: Family Function as a Mediator. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 33(4):511-520. 

Taff, S., and Blash, D. (2017). Diversity and Inclusion in Occupational Therapy: Where We Are, Where We Must Go. Occup Ther Health Care, 31(1):72-83.

Taylor, E., and Jones, F. (2014). Lost in translation: Exploring therapists’ experiences of providing stroke rehabilitation across a language barrier. Disability & Rehabilitation (0), 1-9.

Thomas, J. (2013). Cultural competency in OT: Building bridges through international service learning. Advance for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, 29(14), 15-27.

van Herwaarden, A., Rommes, E., and Peters-Scheffer, N. (2019). Cultural competence in lifelong care and support for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Ethnicity & Health, DOI: (Link)

van Rensburg, E., van der Merwe, T., and Nel, M.  (2012). Cultural competence among occupational therapy students at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Acta Academica, 44(3),119–155.

Wegner, L. and Rhoda, A. (2015). The influence of cultural beliefs on the utilisation of rehabilitation services in a rural South African context: Therapists’ perspective. African Journal of Disability, 4(1), Art. #128, 8 pages.

Wells, S. (2011). The American Occupational Therapy Association Advisory Opinion for the Ethics Commission Cultural Competence and Ethical Practice.

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Wickford, J. and Duttine, A.. (2013). Answering global health needs in low-income countries: Considering the role of physical therapists. World Medical and Health Policy, 5(2), 141–160.

Wittman, P., and Velde, B. (2002). The issue is—Attaining cultural competence, critical thinking, and intellectual development: A challenge for occupational therapists. American Journal of Occupational Therapy: 56: 454–456.

Wray, E., and Mortenson, P. (2011). Cultural competence in occupational therapists working in early intervention therapy programs. Can J Occup. Ther., 78(3), 180-186

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