Disability rights and empowerment: Reflections on AJCP research and a call to action

Yolanda Suarez-Balcazar, Fabricio Balcazar, Delphine Labbe, Katherine E. McDonald, Christopher Keys, Tina Taylor-Ritzler, Sarah M. Anderson, Joy Agner

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Debate/Erratumpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


People living with physical, sensory, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities experience complex social, environmental, political, and cultural challenges along with stigma and marginalization in education, employment, and community life. These multiple and complex barriers often hinder their full and effective participation in society. In this reflection, we curated articles on physical, sensory, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities published in the American Journal of Community Psychology from 1973 to 2022. We reviewed titles and abstracts to identify themes that grouped manuscripts in relevant community psychology core concepts and values. From our analysis, five themes emerged: (a) promoting empowerment and advocacy; (b) promoting organizations and settings that support people with disabilities; (c) including people with disabilities in knowledge production; (d) promoting social justice in disability research, and (e) promoting support networks of families of people with disabilities. We conclude this reflection with a discussion of recommendations for future research, practice, and a call to action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-327
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • advocacy
  • disability
  • empowerment
  • social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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