Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Black, C.J., Wheeler, N., Tovar, M., Smith-Webster, D (2015). Understanding the challenges to providing disabilities services and rehabilitation in rural Alaska: Where do we go from here?. Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation, 14 222-232.
Title:  Understanding the challenges to providing disabilities services and rehabilitation in rural Alaska: Where do we go from here?
Authors:  Black, C.J., Wheeler, N., Tovar, M., Smith-Webster, D
Year:  2015
Journal/Publication:  Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation
Publisher:  Routledge
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/1536710X.2015.1068259
Full text:  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1536710X.2015.1068259   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  Yes

Structured abstract:

Background:  In Alaska, the American Indians and Alaska Natives undergo some of the highest rates of health and mental health-related disabilities. In addition, services and resources are limited during the treatment process especially within the rural Alaska context. Limited research exists concerning the lack of disability services.
Purpose:  This article attempts to bring attention to the lack of research, resources, and services available to individuals with disability, while suggesting concrete resolutions to help ease some of these issues.
Setting:  Rural Alaska
Findings:  In order for the Alaska Native population to culturally be knowledgeable of the health and mental disability services, significant progress has to be made. There needs to be devoted research in order to better understand the magnitude of disabilities and treatments experienced in the rural Alaska context. In addition, there is also a must for culturally proficient health care providers, plus social workers who understand cultural and governmental organizations. Lastly, there is a need for improved funding to be distributed and communal clinics to develop and make available for individuals with disabilities.
Conclusions:  As a whole the American Indians and Alaska Natives suffer from some of the highest rates of disease, mental health and substance abuse disorders. In the rural Alaska setting, Alaska Natives are 1.5 more likely to present serious psychological suffering which results in a high currency of depression, substance abuse, suicide, anxiety, and PTSD. However, statistics show that American Indian and Alaska Natives are still susceptible to developing long-term health and mental health disabilities. This research permits immediate attention to the high disability and mortality rates among these two populations.

Disabilities served:  Multiple disabilities
Populations served:  Rural and remote communities
Culturally diverse populations (e.g., African Americans, Native Americans, and non-English speaking populations)
Persons with multiple disabilities (e.g., deaf-blindness, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse)