Measuring Adaptation to Disability: Validation of the Brief Adaptation to Disability Scale – Revised

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Research suggests that individuals with higher levels of disability acceptance experience higher levels of functional independence and life satisfaction.  Disability acceptance is an indication of readiness to pursue appropriate social and career goals, gain new skills, integrate disability into self-identity, and restore positive self-worth.  This study was conducted to validate the use of the B-ADS-R to measure disability acceptance in a sample of Taiwanese with spinal cord injuries (SCI).


The B-ADS-R was found to be a brief, reliable, and accurate tool to measure disability acceptance for people with SCI in Taiwan.  In addition, this study suggests value in using targeted interventions to strengthen the positive human traits of cause and effect, character strengths, perceived control, resilience, and hope to promote increased community participation and a sense of well-being for rehabilitation clients.


Cause and Effect: Assist consumers in gradually developing their belief that their actions effect outcomes:

  • Give simple assignments that have a high probably of success to break negative self-fulfilling prophecies
  • Support self-efficacy

Character Strengths:  Assist consumers to foster their personal excellence or growth:

  • Facilitate consumers’ practice of virtues and character strengths (e.g., open-mindedness, love of learning, persistence, humor).

Perceived Control Increase consumers’ sense of perceived control by drawing from the theory of intentional counseling:

  • Focus on reframing clients’ perceptions of their sense of control in their lives by encouraging them to view themselves as narrators of their life scripts.
  • Encourage storytelling, while avoiding focus on negative past experiences, to promote a sense of empowerment over adversity.

Resilience: Enhance resilience in consumers by helping them develop:

  • Coping skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Social skills

Hope: Facilitate hope by reformatting and redefining goals:

  • Select optimal rehabilitation goals
  • Establish an ideal level of challenge
  • Endorse approach rather than avoidance goals
  • Break down long-range goals into steps and sub-goals – Use simple goal worksheets
  • Encourage consideration of alternative pathways to goals
  • Mentally rehearse scripts for occasions when obstacles are encountered
  • Create visual scenarios of pathways to goals
  • Increase positive self-talk

Bottom Line

Targeted interventions that focus on strengthening the positive human traits of cause and effect, character strengths, perceived control, resilience, and hope could significantly impact the level of community participation and sense of well-being in people with disabilities and lead to increased disability acceptance.

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Source: Chan, J. Chan, F., Ditchman, N., Phillips, B., and Chou, C. (2013). Evaluating Snyder’s hope theory as a motivational model of participation and life satisfaction for individuals with spinal cord injury: A path analysis. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27(3), 187-205.

Learn More

Use the following resources to learn more about this topic:

  • Smedema, M.S., Pfaller, J., Moser, E., Tur, W., & Chan, F. (2013). Measurement structure of the trait hope scale in persons with spinal cord injury: A confirmatory factor analysis. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27(3), 206-212.
  • Chou, C., Chan, F., Phillips, B., Ditchman, N., & Kaseroff, A. (2013). Positive psychology theory, research, and practice: A primer for rehabilitation counseling professionals. Rehabilitation Research, Policy, and Education, 27, (3), 126-130.
  • Values In Action Survey of Character

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