Publication Date

January 2008


[Excerpt] This monograph offers an introduction to and overview of a broad spectrum and diversity of Muslims with disabilities and chronic health conditions who come from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. The perspective provided here also highlights larger issues of human rights. Given the current immigration trends in the United States, it is critical that service providers work across cultures and systems to help Muslims access disability and health care services and resources in their communities. Over the years, service professionals and researchers have come to recognize that individuals with disabilities and health conditions do not always hold the same health beliefs, understandings, objectives, and priorities as the service providers they encounter. The result is an intercultural gap in understanding between clients and providers that may result in a poor treatment or rehabilitative outcome. This monograph will use the terms client, consumer, and patient interchangeably to denote those seeking disability services, medical services, or both. We emphasize that to bridge the gap between Muslim service users and mainstream U.S. service systems, service providers in disability and rehabilitation systems need to increase their sensitivity and ability to accommodate differences between their services and the needs of their clients.