BiographyDr. Smart has written three widely-used textbooks, Disability, Society, and the Individual 3rd ed. (2016), Disability across the Developmental Lifespan (2012), and Disability Definitions, Diagnoses, and Practice Implications: An Introduction for Counselors (2019). All of these books have a cross-disability focus, discussing all types of disabilities, including physical disabilities, cognitive and developmental disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities (mental illness and chemical and substance abuse.) Another distinguishing feature of Smart’s books is the clear separation between the biomedical aspects of disabilities and the societal prejudice and discrimination directed toward IWDs (individuals with disabilities.) Further, the Social, Functional, Environmental Models of Disability are defined and discussed. Finally, the Model of Disability, of greatest importance to most IWDs is the Civil Rights Model, which is presented throughout all of Smart’s writings. These books emphasizes that most IWDs consider themselves to be “normal,” albeit with a disability. This concept of normality is based on the following: 1) IWDs have the same motivations, emotions, and goals as IWODs (individuals without disabilities); 2) IWDs have the same life tasks as IWODs; 3) Most IWDs do not consider their disability to be their most defining identity; and 4) IWDs claim the right to self-identity, rather than being categorized in a disability group, such as the “the blind” or “the mentally ill.”
Smart’s latest book, Disability Definitions, Diagnoses, and Practice Implications: An Introduction for Counselors (2019), published by Routledge, includes a cross-disability focus, defines and diagnoses disabilities using the Biomedical Model, the Functional Model, the Environmental Model, and the Civil Rights Model of Disability. Further, the self-identity of IWDs as normal individuals is emphasized.
Disability Definitions, Diagnoses, and Practice Implications: An Introduction for Counselors is an unique book because it includes 7 chapters on practice recommendations for counselors, psychologists, social workers of all specialties and theoretical orientations. Marriage and Family counselors, Addictions counselors, Adolescent counselors, Spiritual and Religious Counselors, Career Counselors and all other types of helping professions will serve IWDs. Most clients with disabilities do not consider their disability to be the “presenting problem,” bur rather their presenting problems will require the services, knowledge, and skill of all types of counselors. Should the disability be ignored? Of course not, and there are fundamental principles about disability that counselors will be required to learn in order to develop rapport with a client with a disability and achieve the best results. Knowledge and understanding of the disability is a basic condition.
In Disability Definitions, Diagnoses, and Practice Implications: An Introduction for Counselors, chapters on practice recommendations include: Chapter 4, “Six Core Beliefs about Disability of Highly Empathetic Counselors,” Chapter 5, “Ethical Considerations and General Practice Guidelines,” Chapter 7 “Integrating Counseling Practice with Societal Issues,” Chapter 8, “Understanding the Individual’s Response to Disability: Counseling Practice Guidelines,” Chapter 9, “”Understanding Social Role Demands of Individuals with Disabilities: Counseling Practice Guidelines,” and Chapter 10, “Responding to Unique Demands of Disability: Counseling Practice Guidelines.” Each chapter includes 7 to 10 specific practice guidelines.
Dr. Smart was professor and Director of the Rehabilitation Counseling program at Utah State University for 24 years. Her areas of specialization include multicultural rehabilitation, Hispanics with disabilities, and Models of Disability. A former college instructor of Spanish, she translated into Spanish and field tested two rehabilitation instruments, The Acceptance of Disability Scale and Client Satisfaction with Services. Julie Smart received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado and was awarded a post-doctoral research fellowship (1989-1990) to replicate and expand her dissertation on Acceptance of Disability of Mexican Americans with Physical Disabilities. This research fellowship was awarded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) in Washington, DC.
Dr. Smart has written numerous book chapters and published more than 40 articles in such journals as, Journal of Counseling and Development, Journal of Rehabilitation, Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, Rehabilitation Education, The Disability Analyst, and the Bulletin of Rehabilitation Counseling, in addition to serving on several editorial boards. She has been an accreditor and site visitor for the Commission on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). In this capacity she has reviewed various university Rehabilitation Counseling programs.
Dr. Smart was awarded the National Council on Rehabilitation Counseling’s Distinguished Career in Rehabilitation Education in 2016; Utah State University Diversity Award (Outstanding Faculty Member who Encourages Diversity) 2011, National Educator/Researcher of the Year, National Council on Rehabilitation Education, 2001.
Dr. Smart advocates that disability issues gain the same importance as multicultural counseling in the curriculum and education of counselors. Counselors are not considered fully trained and educated if they have not received multicultural coursework and, in the same way, to be fully educated, counselors will require education and training in disability issues.
Julie Smart lives, with her husband David, in Salt Lake City, UT, having retired from Utah State University. She continues to write.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Disability; Models of Disability; Multicultural Rehabilitation; Rehabilitation of Hispanics with Disabilities.