INTEGRATING CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES OF DISABILITY INTO NURSING EDUCATION: AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME
Undergraduate nursing education has a duty to make certain that nursing practice with disabled people and nursing education are enabling rather than disabling [1-3]. However, a number of scholars and researchers have commented that the depictions and representations of disability in nursing and nursing education are inadequate, [3-7] not representative of the diversity of viewpoints about disability and disabled people in society,  and problematic because they tend to reinforce the systems of oppression that disable people living with impairments [3,6-7]. Several research studies have identified that there is insufficient attention paid to disability and related issues in nursing curricula, texts, and other teaching and learning resources and experiences. [3-8] And although disability related content is available in the context of medicine and rehabilitation, this content alone cannot entirely embody teaching and learning about disability in nursing education .
Additionally, while few would dispute the importance and influence of nursing educators’ support of students with disabilities and student exposure to disability content and disabled people, recent research suggests negative attitudes about disability and disabled people persist among educators. Further, interventions to address issues related to disability in nursing education may reinforce the very attitudes and practices they aim to change.
Taken together, this body of literature and other critiques and work outside of nursing strongly suggest new ways forward are needed if impacting changes in nursing education are to occur.
In this presentation, we argue that nursing education must adopt critical perspectives of disability as a means of challenging discrimination and addressing the gaps and inadequacies that currently exist. Discussion will focus on how nursing education can take action to support not only nursing students with disabilities, but also to increase all nursing students' awareness of social and critical perspectives of disability. Practical, easy to implement, and effective strategies will be shared.
 Sabin, H. & Akyol, A. D. (2010). Evaluation of nursing and medical students' attitudes towards people with disabilities. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19, 2271–2279.
 Scullion, P. A. (2000). Enabling disabled people: Responsibilities of nursing education. British Journal of Nursing, 9(15), 1010-1015.
 Smeltzer, S. C., Dolen, M. A., Robinson-Smith, G., & Zimmerman, V. (2005). Integration of disability-related content in nursing curricula. Nursing Education Perspectives, 26(4), 210-216.
 Boyles, C. M., Bailey, P. H., & Mossey, S. (2008). Representations of disability in nursing and healthcare literature: An integrative review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62(4), 428-437.
 Smeltzer, S. C., Blunt, E., Marozsan, H., & Wetzel‐Effinger, L. (2014). Inclusion of disability‐related content in nurse practitioner curricula. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. DOI:10.1002/2327-6924.12140
 Scullion, P. A. (1999). 'Disability' in a nursing curriculum. Disability & Society,14(4), 539-559.
 Smelter, S. C., Robinson-Smith, G., Dolen, M. A., Duffin, J. M., & Al-Maqbali, M. (2010). Disability-related content in nursing textbooks. Nursing Education Perspectives, 31(3), 148-155.
 Aaberg, V. A. (2012). A path to greater inclusivity through understanding implicit attitudes toward disability. The Journal of Nursing Education, 51(9), 505-510.