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The field of psychology faces a challenge: To examine openly and honestly the role of stigma among psychologists.

Stigma is therefore antithetical to the very spirit of psychology.

(2002) addresses the ethical aspects of disability in two ways.

Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, , language, and socioeconomic status and consider these factors when working with members of such groups …. 2.01 Competence (b) Where scientific or professional knowledge in the discipline of psychology establishes that an understanding of factors associated with age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, , language, or socioeconomic status is essential for effective implementation of their services or research, psychologists have or obtain the training, experience, consultation, or supervision necessary to ensure the competence of their services, or they make appropriate referrals (emphasis added).

In addition to these affirmative actions that the Ethics Code encourages and requires psychologists to take, Ethical Standards 3.01 and 3.03 prohibit discrimination and harassment based upon disability.

How much talent is wasted and energy expended keeping disabilities hidden because of the stigma attached to a mental health professional struggling with a mental illness?

How many students with a physical disability are discouraged from pursuing psychology training because they fear a training program either won't understand their needs or won't be committed to providing reasonable accommodations?A law school symposium offers an opportunity for psychologists to reflect on the role of stigma within our own field. Stephen Behnke, APA Ethics Director 2009, Vol 40, No.6 Print version: page 62 sponsored a symposium "Overcoming the Stigma of Disability" at the University of Miami School of Law.An opportunity for reflection The symposium offered a rich opportunity to reflect on the ethical aspects of stigma and disability within psychology."Stigma" traces its roots back to the Greek and means a "mark." Stigma, a mark with a pejorative taint, silences the communication "I have unique needs that require consideration." Stigma is a barrier to voicing one's needs.The Americans with Disabilities Act is highly relevant to these issues, but as psychologists we know that attitudes and beliefs are powerful in creating safe and nurturing environments.

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