Living and participating in the community: experiences of people living independently with support.

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Dheeman, Pratima
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Living arrangements play a key role in affecting participation of people with intellectual disabilities (PwIDs) in the community. Yet, the role of living arrangements in affecting participation has received relatively scant attention, especially from the insider's perspectives. This qualitative study sought to gain an insider's perspective from PwIDs in understanding the meaning of community participation, and the role of different community living arrangements in promoting community participation. Five adults with intellectual disability who were living independently with support were interviewed for this study. A model of full participation was developed to address the relationship between community living and community participation constituting four themes; level and type of support, learning experiences, freedom and choice, and privacy and safety. No gold standard for ideal community participation emerged from the study. Community participation of PwIDs was identified as involvement in meaningful and learning activities as required by the person.
People with intellectual disabilities (PwID's), Community Living, Community participation