Call for papers: Disability justice in social work

Call for Papers for a special issue of the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare on Disability Justice in Social Work

Email regarding intent to submit an abstract due February 6, 2023. Please see attached PDF with additional instructions and deadlines.

Social Work values include social justice and dignity and worth of the person (National Association of Social Workers, 2021), yet many social workers receive little training in disability rights, history, and culture (Ogden et al., 2017) and disabled social work practitioners, students, faculty, and staff experience marginalization, exclusion, microaggressions, and discrimination in our field (Kattari et al., 2020; Kiesel et al., 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened these issues given the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on disabled people in their personal, professional, and educational roles across the lifespan. To live up to our social work values, we must integrate a disability justice approach that rejects ableism and moves past a medical model (Slayter & Johnson, 2022). This special issue will provide an opportunity for in depth exploration of how disability justice principles can be applied in social work practice, education, policy, and research, and serve as a resource for current and future social workers in a wide variety of roles.  

We are seeking papers from social work practitioners, faculty, students, and staff. We are especially interested in papers by disabled1F 2 authors and others with in-depth lived experience related to disability. Papers may be conceptual, research, call-to-action, or theoretical. To encourage wide participation in this special issue, we welcome brief practice or commentary papers (up to 10 pages) or full length (20-25 page) scholarly papers. Focus areas may include, but are not limited to:  

  • The impact of current events (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic, Supreme Court overturning of Roe vs. Wade, police brutality, gun violence, climate change, disability marriage equality, elimination of sub-minimum wage, etc.) on disabled social work practitioners, students, faculty, and staff
  • Calls to action for social work researchers, practitioners, and educators
  • Experiences of disabled students, staff, and faculty in social work education programs
  • Social work education and/or clinical practices that have harmed disabled people as well as practices that are affirming and advocate for disability justice
  • How ableism and other forms of oppression (based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, immigration status, and more) intersect and appear in social work education spaces and practices – and antidotes to this oppression.
  • The history of disability oppression in social work (and by extension in social work education)
  • How the social work field can embrace both disability inclusive practice, and foster disability affirming practice  

Special Issue Co-Editors

  • Sarah Taylor, PhD, MSW, Professor and Department Chair in Social Work and Co-Director of the Center for Disability Justice Research: Health Equity, Education, and Creativity, California State University, East Bay,, (she/they) 
  • Elspeth Slayter, PhD, MA, MSW, Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator, School of Social Work, Salem State University,, (she/her)