Exploring the Role of Disability in Social Work Education and Practice

Presenter: Diane R. Wiener, MSW, PhD and Sarah E. Korcz, NIC

NASW-NYS Members: $30

NASW Other Chapter Member: $45

Non-Members: $60

This workshop is approved for 3.0 continuing education credit hour(s) for licensed social workers, licensed mental health counselors, and licensed marriage and family therapists.



Workshop Description

This workshop will present new and seasoned practitioners with the opportunity to explore topics related to disability in social work education and practice. The approach adopted by the presenters begins with an understanding that “disability” exceeds medical diagnoses and encompasses cultural identities and experiences. The intention of the workshop is to be foundational as well as to create a context and framework for future, more in-depth conversations. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the history of social work and its relationship to the disability rights movement. While social work as a profession frequently utilizes a medical model in its approach to disability, this workshop will teach participants to shift their perspective from social work’s predominantly medical model toward engaging and promoting a disability rights perspective. Advancing the rights of disabled people with myriad identities and varying backgrounds, by centering their experience and expertise, is consistent with the social work profession’s commitment to advocacy.

This workshop will assist participants in learning how to create a more inclusive environment that supports student learning while applying the social model of disability to social work theory and practice. Participants will learn specific strategies in order to examine their own experiences, biases, and feelings associated with disability, deepening social work educators and practitioners’ engagement with students, clients, and communities—across the life span and in systems of all sizes. Importantly, disability intersects with many axes of difference, including but not limited to: race, class, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, ethnicity, and religious identity. Participants will navigate topics that honor and respect disabled and non-disabled individuals’ narratives and experiences.  

Learning Objectives

After the completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Incorporate the social model of disability in social work education and practice.
  • Support students’ and clients’ experiences with disability, within the classroom and the profession.
  • Advance the rights of disabled people with myriad identities and varying backgrounds, by centering their experience and expertise.
  • Create inclusive spaces for dialogue using Universal Design for Learning (UDL).
  • Address potential values conflicts at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels, in order to enact personal and institutional change.

This workshop is approved for 3.0 continuing education credit hour(s).

NASW-NYS is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers (Provider ID #0014), licensed mental health counselors (Provider ID #MHC-0053), and licensed marriage and family therapists. (Provider ID #MFT-0037).


Diane R. Weiner, MSW, PhD, is a Research Professor and the Associate Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute (College of Law, Syracuse University). Diane earned her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona (majoring in Comparative Cultural and Literary Studies and minoring in Anthropology) and her MSW from Yeshiva University. Diane has extensive experience in teaching, advocacy, group facilitation, advising, mentoring, and consulting. She also has significant experience in program development and management, leadership, counseling, disability advocacy, assessment, and supervision. Diane has worked closely with people with disabilities/disabled people in non-therapeutic and therapeutic contexts, in accordance with sociocultural models of disability, since the 1980s. She currently teaches interdisciplinary courses in disability studies at Syracuse University.

Sarah E. Korcz, NIC is a first-year Master of Social Work student at Syracuse University; she is simultaneously pursuing a Certificate of Advanced Study in Disability Studies from the School of Education. Sarah is passionate about the application of social work theory to practice, policy, and research. Specifically, Sarah seeks an array of creative ways to incorporate critical disability theory into these arenas. As a Research Assistant in the Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach at the Burton Blatt Institute (Syracuse University College of Law), Sarah’s research focuses on strengthening linkages between social work practice and academic scholarship. In her role as a nationally certified American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreter, Sarah’s work over the last several years has focused on advocating for and advancing the human rights of the Disability and d/Deaf communities she has served. Sarah hopes to continue to work with the Disability community in her role as a social work practitioner in the future.




Jan 12 2021


5:00 PM - 8:00 PM




Online Live Webinar