Hispanic Heritage Month, Latinxs/Hispanics with Disabilities, and Disability-Related Research

Hispanic Heritage Month begins today and the theme for this year is “Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation.” Hispanic and Latinx Americans have served and contributed to the history of the US since the beginning.  In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and all the Hispanics and Latinx Americans with and without disabilities that have served and contributed to the US, we would like to highlight research on topics of interest to Hispanic and Latinx Americans with disabilities:

NIDILRR-funded Projects

  • The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Family Support (RRTC on Family Support) (90RT5032) is a bridge to aging and disability research, practice, and policies to generate new knowledge in family supports that contributes to improvements in community living, participation, health and function, and other outcomes for people with disabilities from different racial and ethnic backgrounds who are supported by family members. Researchers at the Parents Taking Action: A Parent Training Program for Latino Families of Children with ASD developed a culturally competent educational program for Latinx parents of children with autism or social communication deficits. This program drew from existing knowledge about autism, treatments, services, and strategies and made it accessible to Spanish—speakers in the Latinx community in a culturally competent and cost-effective way. Preliminary results from the study of this program found significant increases in parent outcomes on knowing their rights, accessing community, overall family empowerment, and efficacy in using strategies.
  • The Langston University Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Research and Capacity Building for Minority Entities (90RTST0001) engages minority entities and minority-serving institutions to generate new knowledge leading to improved outcomes for people with disabilities from traditionally underserved racial and ethnic populations. The RRTC works with various minority-serving institutions, Hispanic/Latinx serving institutions, Tribal colleges/university, and others to enhance the research skills of their faculty scholars and students and address research infrastructure challenges such as library research resources, seed monies to jump-start research, and more.

Research from the NIDILRR community and elsewhere:

  • The article, Community participation and public transportation barriers experienced by people with disabilities, discusses a study that explored the impact of barriers accessing public transportation on community participation of people with disabilities. The study found that participants with various types of disabilities who were also female, Hispanic/Latinx, or were of Spanish origin experienced more problems using public transportation for community participation. Researchers also found that people with disabilities had increased barriers to public transportation for spontaneous activities and that steps must be taken to overcome the barrier.
  • The article, Latino families’ experiences with autism services: Disparities, capabilities, and occupational justice, looks at six cases of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy services for Latino children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Los Angeles County, California. Most parents who were offered California’s ABA services decided to modify or opt out because they felt that they were unable to integrate the services into their family life.
  • The article, The role of faith-based organizations in the depression care of African Americans and Hispanics in Los Angeles, discusses a study that examined the use of depression care provided by faith-based organizations (FBOs) to African Americans and Hispanics/Latinxs in Los Angeles, California and that identified factors with receiving such care, including the severity of mental illness and the use of traditional mental health services. The study found that a larger proportion of African Americans and non-US born Hispanics/Latinxs received faith-based services from FBOs compared with non-Hispanic/Latinx whites and with US born Hispanics/Latinx. The study also found that FBO depression services were used in the community, especially by people from racial-ethnic minority groups and that collaborative efforts between FBOs and traditional health services may increase access to depression services for African Americans and Hispanics/Latinxs.
  • The article, Post-school visions and expectations of Latino students with learning disabilities, their parents, and teachers, discusses a study that explored the perspectives about the desired components of adult life for 12th-grade Hispanic/Latinx students with learning disabilities, their parents, and special education teachers. The results found that there were differences in teachers’ expectations of what the students’ lives should look like after high school, and the desires of the students and parents themselves. The study found that the teachers expressed a lack of cultural understanding regarding students’ and parents’ choices after high school. The article also discusses the implications for practice and research in transitioning out of high school.

If you are interested in finding more current and completed NIDILRR projects on this topic, NARIC’s information specialists searched the NIDILRR Program Database and found over 40 current and completed projects. NARIC’s information specialists also searched REHABDATA and found over 2,000 articles related to Hispanics/Latinxs/Spanish speaker with disabilities from the NIDILRR community and beyond. Please contact NARIC’s information specialists for more information on research, resources, and related information on Hispanics/Latinxs with disabilities.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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