Disability Competency in Social Work Education: Tools for Practice Teaching





Social work education has been slow to integrate the intersectionality of disability, even though the prevalence of social work practice with disabled persons is increasing. The profession has historically prescribed to a medical model of disability and struggles with how best to support service users in the disability community. Social workers’ attitudes toward disabled persons is an essential component to the rapport and working relationship with persons with disabilities. As most social work graduates will encounter persons with disabilities in their practice, training and field education must incorporate assessment tools to assist in student evaluations with this population. Evidence suggests that field instructors need additional assessment tools for evaluating students’ preparedness for the field (Vinton & Wilke, 2011). This paper has three objectives: 1) to review disability competence within the social work profession in the North American context, 2) to compare the validity, practicality, and theoretical frameworks of two disability attitudinal scales as potential assessment tools for student evaluations, and 3) to offer recommendations for the implication of social work education and practice.

Author Biography

Ami Goulden, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

Ami Goulden is a PhD student at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.


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How to Cite

Goulden, A. (2020). Disability Competency in Social Work Education: Tools for Practice Teaching. The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 17(2), 61-77. https://doi.org/10.1921/jpts.v17i2.1175