Multicultural Perspectives in Developmental Disabilities

Shellyann Dacres, MA

In this 2-hour workshop, participants will learn about ways to explore and discover the values and belief systems that shape the behavior of various ethnic groups and the ways that cultural differences influence the understanding of disabilities, services, and supports. The focus will be on helping participants understand the ways that culture impacts their own identity and that of people they serve. We will explore how a commitment to cultural competence is crucial for effective relationships with people in many areas of concern and practice. The workshop will examine strategies and resources for interaction with diverse communities.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the belief systems that shape existing behaviors and influence the understanding of disabilities, services and supports.
  • Describe how culture impacts one’s identity and that of the service system we work in.
  • Identify strategies and resources to help provide more culturally competent services for diverse communities.


1:15-2:15pm Overview of Cultural Competence and multiple cultural identities
Cultural Competence continuum
Looking at services through a multicultural lens
2:15-3:15pm Practical application of Cultural Competence in service delivery
Identifying available strategies and resources
Review resources with demonstration

CEs: 2 Cultural Competence
Level:  Intermediate

About the Presenter

Shellyann Dacres is a Training and Consultation Specialist at The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities. Shellyann works with the Direct Support Workforce and Self Directed Support projects.  She also provides training on the use of The College of Direct Support for Provider Agencies in New Jersey. She provides training and technical assistance to individuals, their families and service providers with a focus on Person-Centered Approaches. Prior to her employment at The Boggs Center, Shellyann worked with a provider agency as a Quality Assurance Specialist and Trainer to help improve the quality of care provided to people with developmental disabilities. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Long Island University, CW Post Campus in Brookville, New York and her Master’s degree in Psychology from City College, CUNY in Manhattan.

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