From Social Exclusion to Supported Inclusion: Adults with Intellectual Disability Discuss Their Lived Experiences of a Structured Social Group: Nursing Essay, UoM, UK
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From Social Exclusion to Supported Inclusion: Adults with Intellectual Disability Discuss Their Lived Experiences of a Structured Social Group
Background People with intellectual disability often have few friends and experience social exclusion. Recognising this gap, supported social groups with the aim of inclusion and interdependence were created by a
supported employment provider.
Methods Interviews were undertaken with 10 adults with intellectual disability exploring their lived experiences of a supported social group. Data were analysed using descriptive phenomenology.
Results Two themes emerged (i) supported engagement fosters wellbeing, and (ii) developing social belonging and connectedness. Participants not only acknowledged the
support that they needed to participate, but also that the social group had changed their lives in many ways. Conclusions Adults with intellectual disability want to socialise, have friends and be part of their community. For this to be achieved, they recognise the need to seek some form of support. With appropriate and targeted support, adults with intellectual disability can move from social exclusion towards supported inclusion and experience richer lives.
Better understanding the effects of social exclusion on adults with intellectual disability is a high priority for then community in terms of the social, health and economic costs that result as a consequence of social exclusion. Social exclusion, loneliness and a lack of friends present many people with intellectual disability with a health and well-being triple jeopardy (McVilly et al. 2006a). Social inclusion can be described as not only being present in a community, but also having meaningful social connections and participating in fulfilling social activities
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