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Countries in Southern Africa face many social, development, economic, trade, education, health, diplomatic, defense, security, and political challenges. These countries also have a history of colonialism, liberatory struggle, and independence. Although the language of business and schooling is English for most of the countries, there are still huge chunks of the population that are illiterate and functionally illiterate. People also speak one or more indigenous languages. The majority of the countries in this region have high levels of unemployment and poverty. Ensuring that psychological assessments are appropriate and fair in these contexts is a huge challenge. When this challenge occurs in a poorly resourced setting against the background of social inequality, practitioners need to be highly resourceful, as well as culturally sensitive and ethically aware. This chapter discusses the historical development of psychological assessment in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe demonstrating how the social and contextual factors interacted with assessment.
OVERVIEW. The counseling needs of people with disabilities in African settings have received relatively little attention in the published literature, despite the fact that a majority of Africans, or their families, experience disability in their lifetimes. The disabilities arise mostly from avoidable causes such as inadequate health care systems, civil strife, marginal or failing national economies, and lack of enforcement of disability rights by national governments. This chapter addresses conceptions of disability from an African cultural heritage perspective and counseling interventions to address disability-related needs in those settings. Legal and professional issues that influence the availability of psychosocial services to people with disabilities in sub-Saharan Africa are considered. Counseling enhances health and quality of life in people of African descent with disabilities.
By the end of the chapter, the reader should be able to:
Define disability-related terms.
Explain the likely influence of culture on disability identity in an African cultural heritage setting.
Identify and describe the needs in people of African descent with disabilities that counseling services would meet.
Outline the typical counseling interventions that have been used in counseling people with disabilities in African settings and the rationale for their use.
Evaluate the role of community-based approaches in counseling people of African descent with disabilities.
Suggest and discuss ways in which counseling services for African cultural heritage people with disabilities could be enhanced.
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