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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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PROGRAM INFO

Title:
Chicanos And The Welfare System: Part II
Program #
1977-35
Theme:
Society

Series:
Social Issues, Welfare
Host:
Alejandro Saenz
Guest:
Andres Tijerina
Date:
Aug 2, 1977

Chicanos and the Welfare System: Part II

Dr. Andres Tijerina discusses possible ways to address the health disparities among elderly Mexican Americans who qualify for government assistance. He summarizes some of the results of his survey of elderly Mexican-americans in Austin, Texas which found that many suffered from hearing, dental and eyesight problems, as well a growing sense of alienation. He explains that discrimination within the government among those who felt that the Spanish speaking did not deserve assistance has contributed to the isolation of the elderly Mexican Americans. Consequently, they burden is placed on them to seek assistance and as a group they receive less government assistance than the state-wide average.

To address the problem, Tijerina believes we need to train case workers to be more culturally sensitive, as well hire more Chicano case workers who are able to relate to the client. Currently, there are few Chicano social workers because they do not meet the educational requirements or unable to pass merit exams that test public school learning—in both areas Mexican Americans have not had access to the amount or quality of education needed.

He also produced a film that shows case workers the problems and attitudes of elderly Mexican Americans and offers suggestions for how to detect and deal with those problems. Tijerina argues that case workers must address the problems of alienation facing Mexican Americans to truly improve their access to health care and government assistance.

Dr. Andres Tijerina; curriculum consultant, Univ. of Houston

 

Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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