RE: SOCW6051(w9): Response to 2 students

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Respond to at least two colleagues by refuting or supporting either your colleagues' analysis of the marginalization and oppression of individuals with disabilities or supporting or refuting their analysis of the role of the social worker in working with clients with disabilities.

Response to Kimberly

Discussion 1: Ability, Disability, and Erasure

When I finished reading “The Case of Valerie”, I wanted to give her a big hug. One for the mental and physical abuse she’s endured throughout her life and another hug for recognizing she had a situation that needed attention. Valerie’s low self-esteem and low self-concept of herself began way before she got married. Valerie possessed an inner disability where she probably didn’t think much of herself and probably stayed away from people for fear of them disliking her. Along comes a man [who also has mental disabilities] who reeled her in because he smelled fear. He knew he had her wrapped around his finger; therefore, he treated her as he pleased, with constant verbal and physical abuse. When she became physically disabled, her self-esteem went from low to below the grave, because by then, he had brainwashed her into believing nobody would love her.

We see a case of visible and invisible disability. Wendell (2013) factors that construct disabilities from social conditions that leads to illnesses, injuries, and poor physical functioning to cultural factors where some people or groups doesn’t fit “the norm”; poor working conditions can disable a person; architectural flaws such a no wheelchair access, poor communication systems and many more. Some people are physically and psychologically disabled, like Valerie, who remains hidden behind closed doors with her disabilities. Valerie was forced to work from home due to the lack of accessible buildings and perhaps transportation.

Valerie fit the mold that many people face today, mental illness of depression and emotional instability; her physical disability is visible as she lost a leg; therefore, she uses an electric scooter and walker. She lacked self-worth, so it took her a while to realize she needed help, but once her sessions began, she began to unravel the pinned up mental and verbal abuse she endured; surely, some childhood issue came up also. She was a prisoner in her home for fear that people would stare, be rude, or are unable to accommodate her disability.

If someone is constantly abused mentally and physically, they begin to believe there is no hope. Because of the Americans With Disabilities (ADA), society has come a long way with accommodating the disabled. Valerie along with others who are disabled should be the primary advocate for change as they know what is needed for positive functionality. Social worker and other professionals should educate themselves and research past changes and advocate for up-dated changes such as continuous elevator maintenance.


Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year:

Baltimore, MD: Laureate International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader].

  • “Working With Clients With Disabilities: Valerie”

Wendell, S. (2013). The social construction of disability. In Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castaneda,

C., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zuniga, X. (Eds.). Readings for diversity and social justice.

(3rd ed.). (481-485). New York: Routledge Press.

Response to Terena

Good Afternoon Class,

Reading the case of Valerie helped to give me a closer look at the way people with disabilities are treated. Disabilities do not always have to be seen in order for them to be serious. In the case of Valerie it showed how the Social Security Administration made their own assumption about her diagnosis. The social security administration should not be able to determine how long a illness will last. Society has marginalized people with disabilities because the disabled or their families are forced to make decisions that they do not want to make. In the case Valerie her husband did not think the determination she received was far. Unfortunately, he did not have many options. If Valerie wanted to appeal her case it would put a hold on her SSI case and potentially may not be approved again (Plummer Makris, & Brocksen, 2014). That was a big risk to take considering Valerie was getting sicker and sicker. Even though she worked from home, I am sure the family is missing her income. It is really sad that a person that is going through a lot with health has to deal with unfair treatment when they need help. Even though Valerie husband is working there is no way he would be able to afford to take care of the kids, Valerie, and make sure all of her health needs are met financially. "Marginalization by society at large places a very heavy burden on family members, and people with disabilities are left to experience the myriad mix of emotions with the knowledge that their family members are bearing these financial and personal burdens" (Taomina-Weiss, 2012). I currently work for a mental health agency and I work with Developmental Disabled individuals. Clients can sometimes feel like they are a burden to their family members and start to feel guilty. As the social worker it is important to be able to educate individuals on the different forms of disabilities. Disabilities can be visible or non visible and it should not matter. Social workers has to make sure that there are policies in place to support people with disabilities that are not visible or may not appear to be serious to someone else. Everyone should be able to enjoy the quality of life. As a social worker, it is also important to work with families to help work with them to find ways to help their disabled family member. A lot of families to not have the resources they need to help them.


Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S, & Brocksen S.M., (Eds.). (2014). Social work case studies: Foundation year. Baltimore, MD: Laurette International Universities Publishing. [Vital Source e-reader]. "Working With Clients With Disabilities: Valerie"

Taomina-Weiss, W. (2012). The Costs of Marginalizing People With Disabilities. Empowering people with disabilities to live independently an contribute to society in both socially and economically beneficial.

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Explanation & Answer


SOCW6051 Response to 2 students
Good summation of the case. I agree this case involved both a visible and invisible
disability, the disabled are marginalized and oppressed making it harder for them to lead healthy,
productive lives. This oppression does have a negative impact on the disabled. When they are
marginalized, they feel rejected by society which can lead to poor self-esteem. Because the
disabled are viewed as invisible or dismissed by most of society, there is little hope for positive
change without the influence of social programs and social workers. Instead of being treated with
compassion and offered these services the need, the disabled are forced to fight for a small
amount of serv...

Excellent! Definitely coming back for more study materials.


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