Encyclopedia of Disability and Rehab. (1 Vol)

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9780028972978: Encyclopedia of Disability and Rehab. (1 Vol)
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Seven years of work have resulted in this comprehensive, timely encyclopedia, the goal of which is to provide "relevant rehabilitation information on a vast range of disabilities--physical and mental, organic and those caused by trauma--and available rehabilitation therapies, processes, concepts and sources of support as simple explanations of terms and procedures." More than 100 authors from the U.S. and Canada contributed to this effort. The impressive list of contributors of the signed articles includes experts on disability issues: academics, researchers, and activists. According to the editors, the entries treat nine broad areas: the disabilities themselves, the rehabilitation process, available therapies, technology, the consumer movement, employment and the workplace, caregivers, the philosophy and concepts of rehabilitation, and psychosocial issues.

Entries range in length from 1 1/2 pages (Massage Therapy) to 10 pages (Disability Law and Social Policy). Each entry includes a short bibliography and usually a resource list of organizations that deal with the disability. See and see also references lead to related subject headings. Many of the explanations of medical conditions are not as clear as they could be. The sections on spondyloarthropathies under Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders, for instance, use terminology that the layperson may not know. Having said this, the explanations of most conditions go far in helping the layperson understand the nature of the diseases. The most interesting sections are those that touch on the history of the disability movement (Independent Living, Consumers), social issues (Homelessness, Minorities), as well as new directions in rehabilitation (Disability Management). The entries are thorough, scholarly without being pedantic, and up-to-date.

The back of the book includes a directory of almost 200 organizations and associations concerned with disability and rehabilitation. There is a 30-page subject index. While many of the leaders in the disability movement are mentioned in the body of entries with sketchy information, only three (Helen Keller, Howard Rusk, and Mary Switzer) are given independent entries. Readers must use the subject index at the back to find out if Irving Zola (not listed) or Justin Dart (listed) are noted. Charts and tables are provided in such entries as Deafness and Hearing Impairment and Transportation Accessibility. Line drawings are found under such entries as Prosthetics, Orthotics, Musculoskeletal Disorders and Spinal Cord Injury. More biographical portraits and illustrations would have enhanced the appeal of this informative volume.

This encyclopedia is highly recommended for academic institutions that support the health professions and disability studies, as well as public libraries where there is always a demand for current information in this area. The medical and rehabilitation perspective as well as social and economic viewpoints are well represented in this work.

From Library Journal:

This encyclopedia consists of approximately 150 alphabetically arranged articles, each with a bibliography, along with a list of resources for further information. The subjects covered include standard conditions (like blindness or aging) as well as newly perceived disabilities (attention deficit disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome), with descriptions of rehabilitation processes and medically approved (not alternative) therapies. Evidently designed to be politically correct, the articles are often concerned with issues such as civil rights, attitudes, ethics, minorities, homelessness, and violence. This reference is purportedly intended for use by people with disabilities, their families, and the interested lay reader, but the text is laden with professional terminology, there are few illustrations, and the bibliographies contain many obscure journal articles. Searching the index for AIDS, for example, the reader is directed to find an article with the ponderous title "Human Immunodeficiency Virus Disease and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome." A practical reference for libraries serving professional caregivers or medical students but hardly user-friendly for the general reader. [For other resources on the disabled, see "An Enabling Collection for People with Disabilities," LJ 4/1/96, p. 53-56.?Ed.]?Valerie Vaughan, Hatfield P.L., Mass.
-?Valerie Vaughan, Hatfield P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Arthur E. Dell Orto (Editor), Robert P. Marinelli (Editor)
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