The social inclusion of young adults with intellectual disabilities : a phenomenology of their experiences

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Here is a doctorate thesis from the University of Nebraska:

THE SOCIAL INCLUSION OF YOUNG ADULTS WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES:A PHENOMENOLOGY OF THEIR EXPERIENCES

Sarah Anne Hall, Ph.D.

Social inclusion enhances the quality of life of young adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). Young adults with ID continue to face prejudice and discrimination that limit their social inclusion. They experience limited social inclusion because there are not enough appropriate activities available and they have limited opportunities to develop friendships. The social inclusion that people with disabilities experience within their local community varies greatly.

There is a deficiency in the literature concerning the social inclusion of young adults with ID. Previous considerations of disability have focused primarily on physical access and reflect the local contexts in which the participants live. There is a need to understand the social inclusion of young adults with ID and to advocate for change.

The purpose of the present study was todescribe the social inclusion of young adults with intellectual disabilities and to identify contexts that limit or enhance their social inclusion. Social inclusion was defined as being involved in activities, developing and maintaining relationships, and having a sense of belonging. Participants included fourteen adults from 22 to 35 years of age with a mild or moderate intellectual disability who were able to verbally communicate their thoughts and experiences.

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