Mobility and Social Inclusion for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Jan 19, 2011
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I recently saw an announcement that the Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities (JPPID) is issuing a call for papers focused on “evidence-based policy and practice related to mobility and transportation as a prerequisite for social inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities”. It makes perfect sense, though I don’t think many people realize, just how affected someone’s participation is in society by something that sounds as simple as getting around.  I think level of participation in society, and maybe more specifically the things one does for fun and in a social life, is often considered to be in complete and direct control of the person.  That maybe the reason someone is not as active in an outside social life is because he or she is shy, introverted, or even lazy.

But beyond physical accessibility of transportation, which can obviously affect someone’s participation in life outside his or home, the idea that individuals with intellectual disabilities (and possibly no specific physical or mobility disability) may encounter barriers with transportation I feel may typically be looked over.  Many people with ID may not have the necessary skills to drive, bike, or participate independently otherwise in traffic.  They may also find difficulty in navigating intricate public transportation systems or finding what little support there does exist when they need it. More than others, people with ID have to be even more motivated, trained, and supported or assisted in order to independently reach their destinations, whether for medical, social, or other reasons.

Apparently, until now at least, there has been little scientific information about initiatives, models and programs to strengthen the mobility of people with ID and to support mobility as a necessary condition for their social inclusion in school, work, leisure, housing, and society in general.  I personally am interested to see what studies may have not been published in this area or what other policies and practices are out there.  If you have one, check out the journal at http://www.wiley.com/bw/journal.asp?ref=1741-1122.

Author: Blythe