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    Disability in the Healthcare Sector

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    In choosing the Health/Healthcare sector as my domain, the reasoning behind it is that I see myself working in within in this field in the next year before attending graduate school for a Master’s in Epidemiology. Choosing the healthcare domain will prepare and allow me to see the problems within this sector beforehand for people with disabilities. A problem identified with the healthcare system when it pertains to people with disabilities is mental health issues.

    As there is still a lot of stigmas when it comes to this population. Some of the challenges to addressing mental health needs include the limited number of mental-health professionals, the fairly low capacity and motivation of non-specialist health workers to provide quality mental health services to adolescence, and the stigma associated with mental disorder. (Patel, 2007).

    Another problem with disability in the health care industry is the difficulty in purchasing healthcare insurance in the individual commercial market because some insurers would not provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and have problems with physical barriers in the healthcare industry.

    Where, there is usually unfair entry to buildings (hospitals, health centers), inaccessible medical equipment, poor sign usage, small and thin doorways, internal steps, insufficient bathroom facilities, and inaccessible parking areas create barriers to health care facilities. (Cox, 2018).

    Another problem with the healthcare sector pertains to people of color, focusing on the African American community. As people with disabilities are more likely to live in poverty, hence poverty is seen as a cause and consequence.

    However, this becomes challenging you’re the black community. As black people with disabilities are susceptible to unjust encounters with school officials, law enforcement officers, and the criminal justice system. The ableist social norms often outlaw the existence of disabilities such as autism, bipolar, schizophrenia, and other intellectual disabilities when it deals with people of color.

    Another issue that people of color face in the disabled community pertains to violently acquired spinal cord injuries (VSCIs). Young men with this condition are faced with the concept of culture that they are not a part of the stereotypical disabled community because they may in which they became disabled are typically associated with gang violence as disability culture itself has been characterized as a White, middle/upper-class phenomenon. Those from lower socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic minorities often do not share the resources, experiences, relationships, or concerns that underlay disability culture (Devlieger, Albrecht, & Hertz, 2007).

    Other problems with the healthcare system are the social determinants of health and disability. As social determinants of health are known to have a direct influence on a person’s health status. When social determinants of health decrease, morbidity, and mortality rates increase. When it pertains to disability, it arises mainly as people with health conditions are confronted by social norms that reduce their activities of daily living and social participation (Rath, 2014).

    With this stigma and estimating the number of people who experience disability is problematic. Also, there is extensive research that proves that disabled people experience less satisfactory health outcomes than their ableist counterparts. In considering the question of how these problems came about, there are their obstacles that seem to appear, one of which is a physical barrier. As when buildings have steps, people with a physical disability using a wheelchair cannot access it, therefore, they are rendered disabled.

    However, when there is a ramp they are enabled and not disabled. Secondly, is an attitudinal barrier, for example, when a person with a physical disability is in the hospital and needs to use the hydraulic lift, sometimes the nurse seems overwhelmed at the need to press a button to activate the lift. However, when they are trained that the lift is simple, it only takes a few additional minutes and then there is an equal right to get on the hospital bed.

    Lastly, there is an organizational barrier. For this barrier, if a person with a disability applies for a job, a test is part of the recruitment process and they may require additional time to write. However, if an employer refused to make these reasonable adjustments they are then labeled as disabled. However, if they would allow for the needs of people with disabilities to illustrate their ability they may very well be the best candidate.

    In answering the question of, are there already interventions in place to try to remedy the problem. I would answer yes, as the healthy people 2020 is addressing their inaccessibility and urging the government and organizations to become more innovative by, making it more accessible for entering the health care system with Obama care where health insurance should be guaranteed regardless of having a preexisting condition. Also, accessing a location where needed health care services are provided.

    The problem regarding the law is that, while the ADA prohibits employment discrimination based on disability, it is a limited prohibition. Specifically, the ADA forbids employment discrimination against people with disabilities but only to those individuals who are deemed to be a qualified individual (Carson, 2001).

    The medical model says that the disability is in you and it is your dilemma, whereas the social model says that disability exists in the interaction between the individual and society. Disability problems stem from somebody with a disability trying to operate in an inaccessible society.

    The problem with this method is that disabled people have been told that there is something wrong with them, that they need to be fixed. People also, expect that people with disabilities shouldn’t be surprised that they are not fully welcomed or able to participate in society.

    These negative messages are often expressed by people with disabilities. However, they are forced to internalize these feelings which creates even more barriers to participation. “An intervention of the social model is that the social model draws on the idea that it is the society that disables people, through designing everything to meet the needs of the needs of the bulk of individuals who doesn’t seem to be disabled (Rath, 2014). Therefore, there is recognition within the social model that there is a great deal that society can do to reduce some of these disabling barriers.

    The historical factor of disability was considered a punishment from God for one ‘was sin or misbehavior or that of one’s ancestors. Therefore, there was not much done for people with a disability in the health domain. For the cultural factor of disability in the healthcare domain, it is noted that mental health is the type of disability that is most stigmatized. Also, it can be said that many of the cultural factors of disability in the health care sector influence our attitudes.

    In addressing disability as a ‘minority group’ is somewhat good in my belief. As a minority group is defined as a “group that experiences a narrowing of opportunities (success, education, wealth) that is disproportionately low compared to their numbers in the society (Rath, 2014).

    Also, in embracing disability as a diverse group, means nondisabled people enhance their self-awareness and knowledge of the world around. It is also about accepting and celebrating the infinite dimensions of diversity inherent in all of us.


    1. Access to Health Services. (n.d.). Retrieved from
    2. Cox, L. E., Tice, C. J., & Long, D. D. (2018). Introduction to social work: An advocacy-based profession. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
    3. Carson, C., & Shepard, K., (Eds.). (2001). A call to conscience: The landmark speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. New York: IPM/Warner Books. doi: http://mlk-kpp01
    4. Devlieger, Patrick & L Albrecht, Gary & Hertz, Miram. (2007). The production of disability culture among young African-American men. Social science & medicine (1982). 64. 1948-59. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.01.008.
    5. McCain,H. (2017). Medical model of Disability versus Social Model of Disability. doi:
    6. Patel, V., Flisher, A. J., Hetrick, S., & Mcgorry, P. (2007). Mental health of young people: A global public-health challenge. The Lancet, 369(9569), 1302-1313. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(07)60368-7
    7. Rath, J. F. (2014). Reducing disparities in access to health care. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e521212014-002

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