Underrepresented ethnically and racially diverse aging populations with disabilities: Trends and recommendations

Vivian M. Larkin, Reginald J. Alston, Renée A. Middleton, Keith B. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Service needs among aging historically underrepresented racially and ethnically diverse populations with disabilities are increasing at an alarming rate in the United States. Consequently, it is obvious that current rehabilitation legislation and practices must be refined and extended to provide opportunities for this population. This article familiarizes rehabilitation practitioners with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the 1992 and 1998 amendments to the Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Each of these initiatives establishes the potential for real reform in disability policy and practice. These pieces of legislation are discussed within the framework of aging racial and ethnic populations with disabilities and implications for improved service delivery. Rehabilitation and counseling practices desperately need to be reformed. In addition to reinforcing present laws, we must work within the system to make sure no disadvantaged aging individual is left behind. Aging represents the crowning point of one's life, thus, seniors should be viewed as contributing members of society, rather than a burden. It is clear that we have a legal as well as a moral responsibility to provide appropriate services. The key to effective service reform will include effective leadership, communication, collaboration, training, advocacy, and innovative legislative initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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