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A Cape Verdean Perspective on Disability: An Invisible Minority in New England

Dawna M. Thomas
Women, Gender, and Families of Color
Vol. 2, No. 2 (Fall 2014), pp. 185-210
DOI: 10.5406/womgenfamcol.2.2.0185
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/womgenfamcol.2.2.0185
Page Count: 26
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A Cape Verdean Perspective on Disability:
An Invisible Minority in New England
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Abstract

The disability rights movement has brought about broad change in what we see today socially in our imagination and pragmatically within the political landscape. Specifically, it has challenged what it means to be human and what it means to have the right to exist within a social democracy based on principles of equality. Yet the disability rights movement has paid little attention to how disability is understood within culturally diverse communities. Often culturally competent models have a "one-size-fits-all" approach that potentially contributes to disparities in service delivery. This approach generally ignores ethnic distinctions within broad racial/ ethnic categorizations such as black Americans and Latinos. The Cape Verdean Women's Project explores the population of Cape Verdeans in the United States. Findings indicate that they are not only often culturally misidentified but also misunderstood especially as it relates to issues of disability. This study demonstrates how race, gender, and culture interact and often contradict mainstream disability philosophy and service practices.

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