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Authors

Kolb

Abstract

An assertiveness support group was designed for five women with visual impairments who were attending college. The purpose of the group was to apply concepts underlying assertive behaviors (Phelps & Austin, 1975) to effectively managing psycho-social factors related to adjustment to a disability (Wright, 1960; Donaldson, 1980). Issues such as developing assertive responses other than eye contact, defining a sense of personal power in handling dependency related to the presence of an impairment and identifying strategies for dealing with the stereotypes of others were discussed. Although no formal measurements of the group's effectiveness were made, verbal feedback from participants at the end of the five month program indicated that they felt quite positive about the experience. Further research is recommended to explore various designs and effectiveness of group programs, especially in terms of the impact of a disabled facilitator upon group process. Evaluating the significance of combining assertiveness concepts with psycho-social components of adjustment to a disability is also encouraged.

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