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Paradoxes, locations and the need for social coherence: a qualitative study of living with a learning difficulty

Lookup NU author(s): Monique Lhussier, Lynne Minto


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Policy rhetoric over recent decades has promoted social inclusion of the more vulnerable sectors of society, such as people with learning difficulties. This study aimed to describe the experiences of people who live with learning difficulties in order to inform local service development. Thirty-five people with a learning difficulty and/or a family member were interviewed. A model of social coherence was developed that moves beyond the self-limiting debates about social inclusion and exclusion. It is underpinned by a sense of location for the person with a disability in relation to services and carers, family and community, dependency and risk, temporality and space, events, control and society. Key recommendations are for services to know the individual and his/her family; to be responsive to individual needs; to enhance the capacity of families and communities to support people with difficulty in learning; and to help these people to feel more valued.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Clarke CL, Lhussier M, Minto C, Gibb CE, Perini T

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Disability & Society

Year: 2005

Volume: 20

Issue: 4

Pages: 405-419

ISSN (print): 0968-7599

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0508

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/09687590500086534


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