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Disability & Rehabilitation
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Constructive Functional Diversity: A new paradigm
beyond disability and impairment
Philip Patston a
a
Diversityworks Group and Trust, Auckland, New Zealand

Online Publication Date: 01 January 2007
To cite this Article: Patston, Philip (2007) 'Constructive Functional Diversity: A new
paradigm beyond disability and impairment', Disability & Rehabilitation, 29:20, 1625 -
1633
To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/09638280701618778
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09638280701618778

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Disability and Rehabilitation, October – November 2007; 29(20 – 21): 1625 – 1633
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Constructive Functional Diversity: A new paradigm beyond
disability and impairment

PHILIP PATSTON

Diversityworks Group and Trust, Herne Bay, Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract
Aims of the paper. This article presents a more dynamic and constructive paradigm than the current dominant ones (for
example medical or social models), to describe and change the impact of impairment and disability. The reflections
contained are inspired by personal and professional frustration with the existing polarized ideology of human function, which
fails to adequately describe the diversity of physiological and psychosocial function amongst people. It aims to provoke and
inspire dialogue about our current paradigm of human function in relation to value and capacity.
Key findings and implications. Within this paper: I critique society’s biases regarding of functional deficit relative to the
subconscious fear of losing function; I question the polarity of the negatively framed language of impairment and disability; I
offer constructive, creative ‘solutions’ to describe the experience of atypical function. In so doing, an entirely new language of
diverse human function and a concept of Constructive Functional Diversity (CFD) is proposed, which includes a complex
yet logical array of modes and outcomes of function.
Conclusions and recommendations. Finally I suggest the benefits of a more dynamic paradigm of functional change in
enhancing rehabilitative outcomes, including client-directed practice.

Keywords: Conceptual framework, disability, language, models of disability

functional diversity’ to ‘[represent] the most for-
Introduction
gotten and discriminated ten per cent of humanity
A more radical approach is needed: we must demolish throughout the history of almost all human societies’
the false dividing line between ‘normal’ and ‘disabled’ [6, p. 1]. They argued that none of the common
[meaning impaired] and attack the whole concept of terms used currently to describe this group was
physical normality. We have to recognise that disable- positive or neutral and that even the World Health
ment [impairment] is not merely the physical state of a Organization’s new International Classification of
small minority of people.
Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) [7], was no
It is the normal condition of humanity. [1] more than a ‘praiseworthy attempt to shift the
‘problem’ of functional diversity from the person to
Functional diversity is a relatively new way of the environment . . . [while still using] the words
thinking about impairment and disability, though impairment, limitation, restriction, barrier and dis-
the term itself is used in a variety of contexts: To ability’ (p. 3).
describe ecological [2] and biological [3] processes; But functional diversity is far more than simply a
to explain the variation in team and workgroup new term to describe the internal experience of
performance [4]; and to describe a fundamental disabled people. It is an innovative way of thinking
characteristic of ageing [5]. Romañach and Lobato that takes away the boxes of impaired (or disabled)
(2005) related it directly to disability and impairment and a comparative normal. It allows all people to
when they proposed the term ‘women and men with share in the complex array of human function and

Correspondence: Mr P. Patston, Diversityworks Group and Trust, PO Box 46256, Herne Bay, Auckland 1147, Aotearoa New Zealand.
E-mail: philip@diversityworks.co.nz
ISSN 0963-8288 print/ISSN 1464-5165 online ª 2007 Informa UK Ltd.
DOI: 10.1080/09638280701618778
1626 P. Patston
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benefit from their strengths. Romañich and Lobato of disability. But even the social model, with its
allude to this by ‘[attempting] to go even further and disabled/non-disabled comparison, perpetuates our
avoid the social strategy of ‘‘deviationism’’, the one dualistic view of society by virtue of function (see
that produces the ‘‘them’’ and ‘‘us’’ groups, to put also Gzil et al. in this issue [9]).
forward that functional diversity is something in- Whether from the medical or social model, we
herent to the human being’ (p. 6). But they contra- define people as impaired – and as a result disabled –
dict this by repeatedly defining functional diversity as in relation to their difference from a socially
‘a reality in which a person functions in a different or determined notion of what it is to be unimpaired or
diverse way from most of society’ (p. 4). In contrast, non-disabled. If you can walk, you’re non-disabled;
the approach presented here recognizes that all if you can’t, you’re disabled. This method of
people function in diverse ways. classification is logically flawed, because it does not
acknowledge the impact of context. Imagine compet-
ing at the Olympic Games – you would be physically
The deficit mindset of impairment
impaired by comparison with the athletes. Just like
and disability
someone with a limp on a busy street, you may slow
The foundation of my concept of Constructive the pace of the Olympic, but you wouldn’t be
Functional Diversity (CFD) calls for the complete considered disabled. Nor do we label someone
removal of any notion of difference or deviation from disabled if they can’t act, sing, cook, swim or
a predetermined norm. Otherwise, we simply change practice law, just because some people can.
the boxes’ labels from disabled and non-disabled to Then why do we define some people by their (or
diverse and non-diverse. The potential of functional our own) perceived functional deficit? Why do we
diversity to truly change the social mindset is to describe a person as blind, rather than incredibly
create one box only, labelled functional diversity, in creative in their ability to navigate the world without
which all human beings sit, stand, lie or otherwise sensory input? Why do we describe people with
exist. Within this one box, however, I have defined a Down syndrome as intellectually disabled, rather
complex array of modes and outcomes of function. than, as is so often the case, intuitive and honest?
These parameters of function allow us to become Why don’t we applaud the emotional repertoire of
aware of our functional similarities and differences. people whom we label as having bipolar disorder?
Each of us has a different capacity to function at Similarly, why do we continue to label people
different times and in different situations. Many (even ourselves) using medical terminology (Cere-
activities involve functioning in several ways. For bral palsy, Down syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis,
example, elite athletes need to function at a very high Asperger’s syndrome)? We do not invent conditions
capacity physically and cognitively. Scientists may for elite athletes, creative geniuses or beautiful people
need only cognitive capacity to perform well. Artists’ like Acute Physiological Superiority Syndrome,
aesthetic appreciation requires motor, sensory and Ineptitude Imperfecta (Einstein’s Disease) or Aes-
creative capacity. We would forgive an athlete’s thetic Arrogance Disorder. I would argue that the
temporary lapse in concentration, or a scientist’s answer is fear – our own fear of losing function.
dubious aesthetic discernment. We would not judge
an artist’s capacity because of a tendency to be
Dysfunctionphobia – our own fear denied
reclusive or lack of social skills. In fact, society
forgives people for these deficits because of their We are all influenced by the values, beliefs and
successes. Sometimes their successes are even attitudes that condition us from birth. Often these
attributed to their deficits. are subconscious and we have little awareness of
Currently, we categorize impairment and disability them, but most often our response to impairment
with a framework of comparative levels of ability. and disability is negative. The usual reactions to the
Likewise, Nordenfelt [8] observes a similar contrast encounter of impairment or disability include sad-
in the medical model of health: ‘The perfectly ness, a focus on loss, pity, denial and even shock,
healthy person . . . does not have any diseases or horror and devastation [10].
maladies’. He cites the belief of holist health When I introduce the idea of dysfunctionphobia
philosophers that disabled people are in fact un- and functional diversity at workshops, I ask partici-
healthy: ‘A healthy person has the ability to do what pants to tell me how they would react waking up the
he or she needs to do, and the unhealthy person is next morning with a number of different changes:
prevented from performing one or more of these
actions’ (p. 1462). Despite his reference to the ICF’s . You have different coloured hair;
distinction between ability/capacity, performance . You are rich and famous;
and opportunity, he makes, of course, the same . You are the other gender;
assumption that has in turn inspired the social model . You have a different sexual preference;
Constructive Functional Diversity 1627
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. You are another race; dependence, which we might associate with child-
. You have 50% of your physical, intellectual or hood, old age and vulnerability. Dysfunctionphobia
emotional capacity. seems more ubiquitous than homophobia and
xenophobia. There seems to be decreasing accep-
I give them the following response options: tance of people who fear or despise people because of
differences in race or sexual preference. But there
! I’d Hate it to happen; seems to be more acceptance of people who fear and
! I’d Fear the unknown; despise the potential for differences in function. In
! I’m Not Sure; fact, when I have suggested that we should all
! I’d be at Peace with the world; embrace the possibility of functional change or
! I’d Love it to happen. impairment in each other, or ourselves, some people
have responded with derision and even anger.
Over the last year, in response to a suggestion of 50% The average person lives in denial that at any time
reduction in capacity, most of the people who they could have a car accident and become paralyzed
participated reported that they would hate it and be or brain injured; they could have a stroke, develop an
fearful with few exceptions while the other changes anxiety disorder or become depressed, lose hearing
provoke, at worst, uncertainty. Interestingly, most or sight. I believe this denial causes society to fail to
people laugh at the other possibilities but become provide support, remove barriers and challenge
very serious at the mention of functional change. discriminatory attitudes: The things that dis-able
When I ask participants why this occurs, people people. This denial occurs in resistance to an
express feelings and fears regarding the ability to effective societal response, which would require an
cope. But, as I point out, loss and grief is part of any admission that a non-disabling society potentially
change – presumably we would grieve the loss of benefits all people, not just the 20% [11] perceived as
black hair when we bleached it, or the loss of being needing the intervention. Importantly, I suggest that
male if we became female or vice versa. Similarly, a the root fear relates to the inability to cope, rather
person’s religious upbringing may make waking up than the change or loss of function. We are infinitely
gay far harder to cope with than being disabled. The adaptable; disabled people adapt when adequately
difference, I propose to these groups and also to you, supported and newly impaired people share this
is that the first five changes are highly unlikely to potential. Communicating this possibility at the
happen overnight, without a concerted effort of will beginning of a rehabilitation process could impact
and autonomous decision-making, but the last in terms of client-directed practice, giving a totally
change is possible, even statistically likely in some different potential focus – adaptation – as well as or
cases, to happen unexpectedly and involuntarily. instead of restoration.
Additionally, we are conditioned to believe that It is not just non-disabled people who exhibit
impairment is ‘wrong’ and unnatural which under- dysfunctionphobia – many people who are impaired
standably contributes to dysfunctionphobia. It is either fear or dislike their own functional deficit
further exacerbated by the long history of social and/or the possibility of a further loss of function.
exclusion, devaluation, poverty and discrimination Disabled people often apologize for their inability to
experienced by disabled people, which people wit- do things, or for their need of support. Some may
ness with distress, but without the realization that even discriminate against others with the same or
they individually and collectively cause it. different impairment (e.g., physically disabled peo-
Oppression and discrimination against disabled ple often do not want to associate, or be associated,
people is often called abilism (or sometimes dis- with intellectually disabled people). Young adults
ablism). Abilism is the institutionalized belief that with acquired impairment as a result of accident or
being non-disabled is better or more natural than illness may be desperate to return to their commu-
being disabled (in the same way that racism is the nities or workplaces, but are terrified about appear-
belief that one race is better than another, and ing in public as a ‘disabled person’. And why
heterosexism is the belief in the superiority of wouldn’t they? They have been raised in the same
heterosexuality). It is a belief that legitimizes dysfunctionphobic society and subjected to the
society’s ignorance or lack of awareness, insensitivity same negative attitudes and beliefs. As such,
or, at worst, cruelty. Dysfunctionphobia explains the dysfunctionphobia becomes both internalized and
collective, institutional phenomenon of abilism in institutionalized.
individual terms. Similar to homophobia and xeno- I would go so far as to say that dysfunctionphobia
phobia, I explain dysfunctionphobia as an interna- is a hidden epidemic in society, caused by our binary
lized, often subconscious, fear or hatred of losing ideologies of human function (impairment and
function, or becoming unable to function indepen- disability), which needlessly fuels discrimination
dently. This fear stems from an aversion to [12]. The challenge is to stop people thinking merely
1628 P. Patston
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in terms of impairment and disability and facilitating (iii)Value (or desired state) – the level of
a change in their understanding and value of importance placed on function;
function. (iv) Capacity (or actual state) – the level of ability
to function.
The new language of Constructive Functional
Diversity Modes of function
Crucial to the power of the current mindset is the As human beings we function in a variety of different
language we use. If we express a new mindset – one ways – we taste, we move, we communicate, we
of diversity rather than comparative deficit – we need think, we feel, we express. In analysing these and
new words and terms. Edward de Bono emphasizes other means of function I have built a list of nine
the importance of precision in the use of words to modes of function, into which we can place any
become more expressive [13]. The common trait of manner of function. I suggest also that these are the
existing language in impairment and disability is aspects of function that we value most. CFD modes
negative and comparative; the focus of the new begin with a focus on ‘doing’ and move to a focus on
language is constructive and solution focused. ‘being’ (Figure 1).
Something is constructive when it is ‘carefully
considered and meant to be helpful.’ [14] The . Biological function: Includes basic biological
language of impairment and disability is seldom functions such as chemical reactions in the
either. De Bono also asserts that positive thinking brain, circulation, organ function etc.
keeps us in undesirable situations if it immobilizes us . Aesthetic function: Includes function in terms
from action by perpetuating thinking good things of appearance, beauty, and attraction. One
about bad circumstances. It is constructive thinking only has to observe such industries as model-
that moves us towards the desirable outcome [15]. ling and cosmetics, or the social obsession
I have already proposed that CFD removes the with dieting, to recognize the importance
comparative ideology of impairment and disability. placed on our ability to be appreciated
However, there will, for some time, be a need to aesthetically.
identify verbally the distinction between people . Motor function (or physical function): In-
labelled disabled and non-disabled. At this point in cludes all aspects of our ability to coordinate
time, I believe it is more important to change how we movement and perform activities.
do that than whether we do it. The risk of not coining . Sensory function: Sight and hearing, but
new terms is that only disabled people will become includes taste, smell, kinaesthetic sensation,
known as functionally diverse, which is incorrect, etc.
because all people (all beings, in fact) are function- . Cognitive function: Our ability to think,
ally diverse. The new language, therefore, coins the reason, perform intellectual activities; includes
phrases ‘people with unique function’ and ‘people intellectual intelligence.
with common function’. The word unique is, in . Social function: Includes capacity for expres-
keeping with de Bono’s recommendation, a powerful sing and interpreting communication (over and
reframe to our understanding of people who do not above motor functions of talking and writing);
have common function, meaning ‘different from engaging in relationships; understanding social
others in a way that is worthy of note.’ mores etc
Below (Table I) is a beta version1 of a complete . Emotional function: Our ability to experience,
CFD vocabulary, preceded by its impairment/dis- interpret and understand emotional feelings;
ability incumbent (including WHO ICF terms). includes emotional intelligence.
Further explanation of terms in included in the . Creative function: Our ability to imagine
following section, which explains the concept of solutions, innovate, design and inspire unique
CFD in more detail. outcomes.
. Spiritual function: Our attention to being
rather than doing; higher beliefs about life
Constructive Functional Diversity – accepting
and self, including how we observe or express
our natural variance
these – through religion, ritual etc.
In this section I will begin to outline in more detail
the concept of CFD that I am proposing. There are Sexual and cultural function may seem obviously
four core elements: missing from this list. I have deliberately not
included them as it seems to me that they involve
(i) Modes – how we function; all of the listed modes function. Or they may be
(ii) Outcomes – why we function; better classified as outcomes. Or they might become
Constructive Functional Diversity 1629
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Table I. Constructive Functional Diversity (CFD) language.

Impairment/disability perspective CFD perspective Explanation of term

Impairment, including functional Unique function The distinctive capacity and value of
impairment (ICF) – ‘significant function held by an individual or group
deviation from statistical norm’
Diagnosis Origin of unique function The cause of or reason for an individual’s
unique function
Disability; disablement (social model Functional bias The favouring of a certain capacity to
definition) function over another
People with disability(ies); people with People with unique function People who hold a distinctive capacity
impairment; disabled people and value around function
People without disability(ies); people People with common function The majority of people who exhibit
without impairment; non-disabled regular modes of functioning
people
To disable someone To exhibit functional bias The active demonstration of favouring a
particular functional capacity or value
To be disabled To experience the impact of functional The result of being a passive recipient of
bias functional bias
Disability support (service or equipment) Functional enhancement (system or A system or device that enhances function
device) by reducing functional gap or
increasing opportunity
Independence/autonomy Functional synergy A match in functional value and capacity
Acquired impairment Functional realignment A significant change in functional capacity
Rehabilitation Functional reconfiguration The process to re-evaluate and change the
relationship of functional capacity and
value
Adjustment to impairment Functional reconciliation The outcome of functional
reconfiguration
Limitation to activity (ICF) – ‘difficulty in Internal functional opportunity/gap The potential/latent value or capacity
performance of activity’ created a mismatch between functional
value and capacity due to unique
function
Restriction to participation (ICF) – External functional opportunity/gap The potential/latent value or capacity
‘problems in involvement’ created by a mismatch in value and
capacity due to functional bias
Barrier (ICF) – ‘environmental factors Functional challenge (obstacle) The potential value or capacity created by
that condition functioning’ removing an obstacle which creates an
external functional opportunity/gap
Disability (ICF) – ‘negative interaction Functional dissonance The discord caused by the presence of a
between person and environment’ functional challenge

components of new category. I’m not sure at this
point – look out for them in CFDv2.0!

Outcomes of function
All function is motivated by a desire to achieve (or
value placed on) a particular outcome. Like the
modes, CFD outcomes move from a focus on
‘doing’ to a focus on ‘being’ (Figure 2).

. Task – work or assignment, which may be
simple, useful, important or difficult;
. Job – paid trade or profession, something
needing to be done or dealt with;
. Occupation – an activity on which time is
spent, paid or unpaid;
. Role – the usual or expected function of some-
one, the part played in a given social context;
Figure 1. Modes of function in CFD. . Meaning – what something means, what some-
one intends to express;
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. Utility – the quality or state of being useful or held by individuals and society. While capacity may
beneficial; be impossible, difficult or unreasonable to change,
. Purpose – the reason something or someone value is relatively abstract and variable and can be
exists. changed (and does change) quite fluidly in indivi-
duals and groups. Hence, one can change functional
synergy by individually or collectively deciding to
Value (or desired state) and capacity (or actual state)
value a mode or outcome of function differently.
Value and capacity (also known as actual and This is fundamentally different to the ideology of
desired states) are the dynamic, changing elements Social Role Valorisation (SRV), formulated in 1983
of CFD. Value changes all the time for individuals, by Wolf Wolfensberger:
groups, cultures and societies, for both modes and
outcomes, regardless of whether they have unique ‘SRV suggests that . . . it is most useful to seek positive
or common function. The match or mismatch in valued roles for the devalued people and groups. SRV
value and capacity would therefore determine the suggests that such role re-valorisation may be consider-
level of functional synergy. The proposition there- ably more effective than other means of assisting people
fore is that people with common function are more in devalued states. Consequently SRV suggests that
likely have higher levels of functional synergy than enhancing competency and image (of the person and
people with unique function because the capacity their surroundings) will result in positive roles being
of common function matches the value of com- made a possibility for devalued people.’ [16]
mon function (for example, the ability to walk
(CFD motor mode) matches the high value of Here is a series of hypothetical pictorial representa-
walking). tions of the interaction between value and capacity
Value (desired state) could be measured internally (functional synergy) in CFD modes (represented
and externally (in relation to a person’s internal or separately) and outcomes (combined), where high
external experience). For example, I can measure value exists. Figure 3 shows low functional synergy
society’s value of being able to sing well or under- and therefore high opportunity (indicative of some-
stand meaning, and my own value in relation to my one with inadequate enhancement systems or devices
ability to sing well or understand meaning. When or a recent realignment). Figure 4 shows unbalanced
value and capacity do match CFD suggests we would functional synergy (indicative a high achiever lacking
experience functional synergy; when they don’t work-life balance). Figure 5 shows high functional
match, we would experience a functional gap or synergy (indicative of someone with unique function
opportunity. Capacity could also be measured with adequate enhancements and alignment; or
internally (ability without support or enhancement) someone with common function with good work-life
and externally (assistance to function provided by balance).
people or equipment).
CFD questions the legitimacy of the value of
function and its outcomes, including roles, typically

Figure 2. CFD outcomes. Figure 3. Low functional synergy.
Constructive Functional Diversity 1631
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the realignment, but also to join the group of
stigmatized people that they have feared
(dysfunctionphobia). CFD creates the oppor-
tunity for a person with functional realign-
ment to perceive their situation from a
position of value rather than stigma.
(2) Understanding motivation to recover
With the caveat that motivation is extraordi-
narily complex [17], it is clear that some
people demonstrate higher motivation than
others to reconfigure function (rehabilitate)
after a traumatic incident. CFD may be able
to offer an explanation. If someone has lost
capacity to function in a mode or outcome
area that they highly valued, the impact will
be greater than if they placed low value on
that functional area. If the person realizes it
will be impossible to regain that capacity
internally, and isn’t satisfied with the use of
Figure 4. Unbalanced functional synergy. functional enhancements, this will affect
motivation. The options for successful re-
conciliation, therefore, are:

(a) To change the internal value placed on
the affected area of function; and/or
(b) To raise the internal value in another
area of function where capacity has
been unaffected

(3) Client-directed practice
CFD fosters practice where clients can direct
the reconfiguration process by exploring a
dynamic landscape of functional modes,
outcomes, value and capacity (internal and
external). There can be a choice whether
measurement or interpretation are deter-
mined subjectively (by the client) or objec-
tively (by the professional).

Further research options/opportunities
Figure 5. High functional synergy.
This article provides a conceptual introduction to
CFD based on my theoretical hypothesis and in so
doing, raises several research questions. Does the
Benefits of CFD in enhancing rehabilitative
CFD approach improve outcomes for people parti-
outcomes
cipating in rehabilitation services? If so – which
CFD has the potential to have several benefits in people benefit most (e.g., people with spinal injuries,
functional reconfiguration (rehabilitation) settings people with stroke, people with depression)? Which
for both clients and professionals. These are dis- services are best for this approach (e.g., acute/post-
cussed below. acute inpatient rehabilitation or community-based
rehabilitation)? And very importantly, what out-
(1) Psychological benefit comes are achieved? If a quantitative study were
A CFD paradigm can create a shift in thinking pursued, how would the outcome be measured? It
for people who experience functional realign- may be useful to study the consequence of applying
ment (acquire impairment). The current the CFD approach to rehabilitation services for
binary paradigm requires people not only to people with functional realignment (e.g., spinal
survive the trauma of the incident that creates injury or traumatic brain injury) participating in
1632 P. Patston
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their first inpatient rehabilitation. Maybe CFD will constructive. I have suggested CFD provides the
positively influence work-status or community inte- opportunity for benefits in rehabilitation settings, in
gration two years down the track. Or maybe people relation to client perception of changed function,
exposed to it will just feel more positive about motivation to recover and client-directed practice. I
themselves and have higher life satisfaction, in which have also proposed areas of research around its use.
case the measures of ‘attitudes toward self’ or ‘life
satisfaction’ would be more useful.
Acknowledgements
Alternatively, a more open-ended research ques-
tion may be applied, e.g., What influence does the A huge thank you to Kath McPherson for providing
CFD approach have on the experience of rehabilita- me the challenge to write this paper, for assisting
tion? In this case, a qualitative research design might with preliminary research and for many provoking
be more appropriate, such as narrative analysis, discussions. Profound thanks also to Kate Diesfeld
participation action research, grounded theory, for such insightful comments and challenges; and for
interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) or a several sessions of intensive discussion and editing.
focus group methodology. A qualitative approach Warm appreciation to William Levack for the phone
would possibly be more useful than a quantitative calls and e-mails, especially about research opportu-
approach as this idea is new and there is very little nities. I am also grateful to Kyle Jack-Midgley, Claire
else to base research on, but it will not demonstrate Ryan, Carol Waterman and Martin Sullivan for
causality between intervention and outcome, which enduring hours of conversations about functional
can limit credibility. diversity, for their reflection and comment on its
Another area of study could be the impact of CFD principles and application. Thanks to Sharon Daly
on the parents of children with unique function and from the US who read an early blog on functional
what influence it would have on the decisions they diversity and took the time to e-mail and tell me of a
make about the lives of their children. It would also time where using the concept changed an outcome
be interesting to see if it influenced the behaviour of for the better, proving perhaps that it really works!
clinicians towards the people they work with/for. Finally, to the other authors of this edition, especially
On a more abstract level it would be interesting to Prof Alain Leplege, who peer-reviewed the first of
examine situations where high levels of function are many drafts: Thank you for your collegial support
not necessarily valued – emotional intelligence, for and may this be the first of many published articles
example. Emotional function is often lowly valued debating the nature of how we perceive and express
and matched by low capacity – watch any soap opera our understanding of function.
for evidence of this! What is the impact of an
individual having high emotional capacity – a Dedicated to the memory of Prof Alan Clarke, who
functional ‘surplus’ – where this is not valued? shared my belief that impairment is more complexly about
Another more complex exploration would be the diversity than deficit.
impact of emotional or cognitive response to func-
tional gaps in other areas. If emotional capacity is
Note
high, will someone respond more positively to a
functional gap in motor function? If this response is 1. A ‘beta version’ is the first version of computer software
released outside the organization or community that develops it
positive is there, in fact, a gap at all, or does this
so that it can be tested in the real world. This is the first release
indicate a reduction in internal value and, therefore, of the CFD terminology and, like beta software testers, readers
the creation of functional synergy? are invited to test the vocabulary and provide feedback.

Summary
Although the term functional diversity has been used References
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thinking about impairment and disability. The 1981. p 18 (italics in original).
concept of Constructive Functional Diversity that I 2. Temperate Forest Foundation 2000 – 2006. Accessed 31 May
2007 from the website: http://www.forestinfo.org/Discover/
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