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Diversity & Cultural Competency

TASH is committed to expanding the participation rates of people of diverse backgrounds who have disabilities in advocacy efforts and every aspect of life.

Our commitment to equity, opportunity and inclusion for all people with disabilities has led TASH to become fully invested in empowering persons of diverse cultural, racial and ethnic backgrounds with disabilities and their families. Persons of diverse backgrounds with disabilities often face multiple barriers, including access to services and supports and discrimination in community, education and employment settings. Research indicates that, while people with disabilities face enhanced challenges, those of diverse backgrounds are disproportionately affected. They face higher incarceration rates, over-representation in segregated special education programs and diminished social and employment outcomes, among other things.

TASH recognizes the value of diversity and what it means to embrace cultural and linguistic competency. We believe individuals of diverse backgrounds must be supported by public and organizational policy and practices in order to achieve full inclusion. This acknowledgement, support and advocacy of diversity is essential to attaining positive outcomes for people with disabilities, and building a sense of community. For this reason, TASH established its Diversity and Cultural Competency in Disability Advocacy Initiative. The aim of this initiative is to connect persons of diverse backgrounds with disabilities to the organizations, services and supports that lead to community inclusion and positive life outcomes.

TASH is committed to cultural and linguistic competency, and we have shed light on the issues, policies and practices that impact people of diverse backgrounds with disabilities. This can be seen in our publicationsTASH Connections and Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities – in which we devote resources to exploring these issues and raising awareness of disparities. It can also be seen through TASH events and webinars, many of which focus specifically on eliminating disparities and developing cultural competency. But real cultural competency isn’t achieved through an article, event or webinar. It is achieved by embracing the differences in us all, celebrating our unique contributions and supporting equity in access, services and outcomes for all people.

TASH Resolution on Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competency

Diversity and Cultural and Linguistic Competency

Additional Resources

TASH Diversity and Cultural Competency Initiative outlines TASH’s commitment to equity, opportunity and inclusion for people of diverse backgrounds with disabilities and their families in accessing services and supports offered by TASH and numerous other organizations.

The TASH Family Support Training project was designed to bring together participants of different ethnicities, cultural backgrounds and languages for training sessions in sites across the country. Through these sessions, individuals with disabilities and their families were equipped with knowledge and skills to successfully advocate on behalf of themselves and others. You can view the family support curriculum (available in English, Spanish and Mandarin), advocacy training (also available in English, Spanish and Mandarin) and download the training guides for both family support and advocacy.

View a YouTube video of Juliana Recio, a self-advocate and trainer, as she discusses her perspective as a Latina with a disability. This is part of TASH’s celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The National School Boards Association has provided a downloadable administrator’s guide for addressing the over-representation of African American students in special education.

People of Color with Significant Disabilities and their Families: Prevalence, Challenges and Successes. This document includes proceedings from the 2005 TASH Conference.

The National Council on Disability developed this report to the President and the Congress on Meeting the Unique Needs of Minorities with Disabilities.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides online information and resources related to health and wellness for people of diverse backgrounds.

If you have any questions about TASH’s position or involvement on issues related to diversity and cultural competency, be sure to contact us.