In the documentary The Land of the Deaf, a
sign language teacher and deaf rights crusader
refers to his hearing daughter and sighs, “I had
dreamt of having a deaf child—communication
would be easier. But I love her all the same” (review by Richard Harrington, The Washington
Post, October 7, 1994, p. B7).
Johnson (1995) gives an example of a social
impact statement: The local office of the human
services department is closing, so a social worker
decides to “determine the impact of such a
change” (p. 276). National Park Service staffers use
Rapid Ethnographic Assessment Procedures (REAP)
to conduct social impact assessments, including
the solicitation of community views about alternative courses of action. An excellent study on social impact and outreach in the case of epidemics
or bioterrorism, commissioned by the Colorado
Department of Public Health and Environment,
lists many at-risk groups that should be considered. In alphabetical order, the outreach target
population categories are African-Americans,
Blind, Deaf, Developmentally Disabled, Elderly,
Homeless, Isolated Rural Residents, Latchkey
Children, Low income/Single Parent/Low Literacy,
Mentally Ill, Migrant Farm Workers, Native Americans, Non-English Speaking, Physically Disabled,
Tourists, and Undocumented Immigrants. Judith
Cohen (2003) who has a background in social
work prepared this study on emergency communications. See the Susskind profile in Kolb (1994,
p. 317) on the impact of assessment, citizen participation, and public disputes. Also see Goldman
(2000) and Barrow (2000).
Ironically, in our own era, conservatives often
succeed in convincing the middle class that it is
the poor (the have-nots) who sit on top of the
coach snapping the whip—because of all the programs designed for them—while rich tax payers
and hard-working capitalists (the haves) strain to
pay their benefits and pull them along. For instance, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh
(1992) has said, “The poor in this country are the
biggest piglets at the mother pig and her nipples.
The poor feed off the largess of this government
and they give nothing back. Nothing. ” (p. 40)
“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas, ”
copyright 1973 by Ursula K. Le Guin; from the
author's collection, The Wind's Twelve Quarters
(1975); first appeared in New Dimensions 3
(1973); Quotes are used by permission of the author and the author's agent, Virginia Kidd. For a
different version of this theme of benefits to the
many at the expense of the few, see Steven Spielberg's 2002 film Minority Report (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and DreamWorks Productions, LLC, based on a story by Philip K. Dick).
The film is set in the year 2054, when three humans called “precognitives” are exploited by the
precrime unit to prevent murders. Leading political philosopher John Rawls (1971) sums up the
principle in these words, “Each person possesses
an inviolability founded on justice that even the
welfare of society as a whole cannot override”
This section is based on work by Hardcastle
(1992) and Turner (1963b). Also see Cox (1995).
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community participation in problem solving
and developing a viable community capability. Journal of Community Practice, 4(2), 13–
Alcorn, S., & Morrison, J. D. (1994). Community
planning that is “caught” and “taught”: Experiential learning from town meetings. Journal
of Community Practice, 1(4), 27–43.
All, A. C. (1994). A literature review: Assessment
and intervention in elder abuse. Journal of
Gerontological Nursing, 20(7), 25–32.
Amezcua, C., McAlister, A., Ramirez, A., & Espinoza, R. (1990). A su salud: Health promotion in a Mexican American border community. In N. Bracht (Ed. ), Health promotion at
the community level (pp. 257–277). Newbury
Park, CA: Sage.
Anderson, D. B., & Shaw, S. L. (1994). Starting a
support group for families and partners of people with HIV/AIDS in a rural setting. Social
Work, 39(1), 135–138.
Anderson, J. (1981). Social work methods and processes. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Atkinson, D. R., Morten, G., & Sue, D. W. (1993). Counseling American minorities: A crosscultural perspective. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C.