Finding a way to work …

Extending the capabilities of young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Paid work – competitive employment – involves specified levels of attainment and productivity, so that many pathways to work are effectively closed to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. As other adults usually have paid work and usually work most of the time, this creates a huge divide in life experience and lifelong opportunities to learn through work.

This project looks at a way of working that young people may be able to put together for themselves, with their allies. It involves following their interests and strengths and using the support of a Personal Assistant to take part in a form of work that works for them.

I will ask how far working in this way can extend the capabilities of young people, that is, how far it can increase their real opportunities to do and be the things they have reason to value in life .

I am specially interested in the learning that comes with work, through contributing to shared aims, working with others and gaining social recognition. The study will explore this learning by young people and, reciprocally, the learning by others about what young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can do and be.

Finding a way to work …

Project based at the University of Southampton.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

00 44 (0)7463 878777

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