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Disability Resources and Competencies

Important Considerations When Counseling and Advocating for Persons with Disabilities

ARCA Disability-Related Counseling Competencies

Having a disability is an experience that is shared by many individuals across every segment of the population. Therefore, it is highly likely that counselors of all backgrounds and specializations will, from time to time, work with persons with disabilities (PWDs). This set of competencies is intended to serve as a resource and provide aspirational guidelines to help shape best practices in counseling by expanding meaningful understanding and support of PWDs in contemporary American society. The goal of this document is to encourage counselors to pursue the competencies identified below to better understand and assist PWDs and is not intended as a mandatory list of standards that must be met in order to provide effective counseling to PWDs. It is recommended that counselors and counselor training programs support the attainment of these competencies among all counselors, in recognition of disability as a part of personal identity and cultural diversity and in affirmation of their professional commitment to social justice.

ARCA Conference Accessibility Guidelines

These guidelines are a working draft of organizational and developmental strategies to confront ableism and demonstrate conference accessibility for disabled people. The intent is to promote a culture of access that is a dynamic and relational process that happens among people, over and over. These guidelines are intended to be a “living document” to inspire disability inclusion within the counseling profession. With this in mind, we highlight the thought process required to create a more welcoming conference environment for disabled counselors, educators, and students. Our hope is ARCA, ACA, and other membership associations will consult these resources as they plan conference events. In alignment with ARCA’s aim to promote disability education, inclusion, and justice, we invite you to explore the following disability resources pertaining to teaching, clinical practice, and accessibility. This virtual database will continuously be updated to ensure we are all doing our best to ensure disability affirmative and inclusive practices are taking place within each facet of our profession.

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