Sei sulla pagina 1di 2

P2- Ethical and Legal Issues

Students will demonstrate their understanding of ethical and legal issues in counseling as well
as the ethical practice of counseling.
My first class of the program consisted of Disability Policy with Tracy Keninger. One of
our assignments consisted of identifying legal issues impacting people with disabilities. As a
daughter of a dad who is bipolar, has polio and does not speak English, my project consisted of
identifying the logic for not providing language access to those individuals who are disabled but
do not speak English. I met with the Leslie Mc Carthy, Supervisor at the Des Moines IVRS
office to discuss my willingness to translate the documents into another language to expand
IVRS reach of non English speaking communities. In our meeting, I learned that Iowa was an
English Only state which prevented state agencies who receive state funds from translating
documents into other languages that are not English. Although, I believed the information, I
wanted to go directly to the source of the English Only Law. I questioned why is it that some
state agencies provide materials in other languages but not others. My second action item
consisted of meeting with a student of the Drake Law program. After days of interpreting the
English-only law, we concluded we would not be able to provide translated materials to non
English speakers for people with disabilities. Fast forward to fall of 2016, after a meeting
discussing minority communities and access to state services. I brought up the issue of English
Only state. After the meeting concluded, he shared that the English-only law is no longer a
barrier to translating documents because of the new federal regulation Workforce Innovation and
Opportunity Act. Originally, I had planned on translating all documents for IVRS during my
internship. However, the risk of translating something once falls back on who is responsible for
updating any changes. My proposed plan is to partner with an undergraduate program who may

be interested in obtaining professional experience and allowing those students with the
opportunity to translate the documents and if changes are made they can be updated by one
student every year. Ideally, state agencies would see the value of providing language access and
allocate funding through their budget. Gathering data to establish a case for providing materials
in other languages will another area of focus.
When I began the Drake program, I viewed ethics as common sense information. I
remember reviewing the ethical policies of ASCA, AMHCA, and NRA. All had similar
information. As I conclude my education journey, I realize the emphasis on ethics stems from the
negative impact an unethical decision can have on the professional, client, client's family and the
profession as a whole. During my advanced practicum, I learned that an undergraduate student
who was job shadowing a social worker who worked at the school came across my son's file. The
undergraduate student shared information about my son's file with her family, which then was
shared with my mom who shared with me the whole situation. My instant reaction was
disappointment that someone in a counseling program would use my childs information and
divulge it. When I shared that with my practicum professor, Richard Clark, he advised that my
ethical duty was to report it. Reporting that incident was difficult for me. It was difficult because
I did not want additional gossip, I wanted it that horrible experience to end. In summary, ethics
although common sense is an area that we all need constant reminders of what is ethical and
unethical. I plan to participate in the webinars offered through NRA related to ethics to maintain
abreast of modifications and reminded of the importance ethics plays in the counseling field.