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The place of casework services in the rehabilitation of the blind : a reconnaissance survey of social work services offered to a group of young adult males registered with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, (Western Division, Vancouver, B.C.) 1950-54 Webb, Gerald Keith

Abstract

The Western Division of the Canadian National Institute for the Blind offers a varied program of services to their clients, including casework, home teaching, vocational counselling, job training, certain kinds of employment and residential care. The present study undertakes to describe and make a preliminary evaluation of only part of these services, namely casework services, and only one important section of its clientele, namely, adult males whose numbers in the past few years have increased considerably. The study covers the registration of the blind client, the services of the Social Welfare Department, and the role of the social worker in offering casework services and co-ordinating the services of other departments. Casework services have been discussed under three classifications; (1) short-term, (2) long-term, and (3), intensive services, the division being made on the basis of the number and focus of interviews. Intensive services were offered to clients whose initial reaction to blindness was extreme, requiring more than supportive casework to assist them in their adjustment. Discussing the importance of employment in rehabilitation, problems that hinder the blind client vocationally have been identified, also the manner in which social work services aid in their solution. Areas of which the social worker has to be aware are: (a) the feelings of the client about his blindness, (b) the relationship between health and handicaps and adjustment to blindness, (c) family relationships and the acceptance of the client by his family, (d) social isolation, and (e) community attitudes toward blindness. Severe limitations of recording are discussed, and recommendations made for improving this aspect of casework services. A proposed registration inventory is submitted as a means to obtaining essential diagnostic information. While the study is of localized relevance it does point up the need for a more intensive study of casework services for the young blind adult male and for research in the areas of psychological, social, economic, and physical needs of the blind, for the establishment of future rehabilitation programs.

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