Developmental Disabilities in Foreign Born Communities

Developmental Disabilities (DD)

The federal definition of “developmental disability” means a severe, chronic disability of an individual that is:

• attributable to a mental and/or physical impairment
• is manifested before the individual attains age 22
• is likely to continue indefinitely
• results in substantial functional limitations in 3 or more of the following areas of major life activity:
self-care, receptive and expressive language (learning and/or mobility), self-direction, capacity for independent living, economic self-sufficiency
• reflects the individual’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.

A few examples of developmental disabilities (DD) include autism, cerebral palsy, a combination of visual and hearing disabilities, intellectual disabilities, mental illness, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy.

You will find there are numerous views on disability that are based on ethnicity, religion, gender, socioeconomic status, religious beliefs, and disability type that shapes disability culture and identity around the world. In some cultures, there is shame attached to being disabled that comes from a belief that one’s disability is caused by that person or his/her immediate family having done something wrong, by black magic or by some ancestral sin. In other cultures, it is seen as an individual condition and accompanied by attitudes of pity or respect for diversity. These diverse views can affect local politics and laws adding another barrier for people with disabilities to receive existing services.

AshaKiran has begun research to determine other culturally sensitive DD resources and organizations throughout Alabama for resource and outreach purposes. If you would like to access this informaiton, please call our 24 HR Crisis Phone AshaLine 'Hope-Line" (256) 509 - 1882 or TOLL FREE (800) 793 - 3010

For more information about AshaKiran Cross-Cultural Awareness training and resources for developmental disabilities please contact us: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information on developmental disabilities, please visit the Alabama Council on Developmental Disabilities (ACDD).


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