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06/01/2009

Secondary and Postsecondary Community Activities of Youth with Significant Intellectual Disabilities


By: Laura T. Eisenman, Annie Tanverdi, Carol Perrington, and Allison Geiman

Abstract: We conducted semi-structured interviews with family members of 45 young adults with significant intellectual disabilities who were enrolled in or had graduated from transition-focused programs designed for students ages 18-21. We examined the types of community and social activities in which the young adults engaged. We also explored the resources and supports they used to enable participation in the community, and other activities or resources they desired. In general, families reported that the young adults participated in a wide variety of typical and specialized activities. There were few differences between those students currently enrolled and those who had graduated. Families provided the primary supports for their participation, and the activities tended to be those in which the family also engaged. Families reported that they and the young adults were mostly satisfied with their current community and social situations. However, family members identified several types of activities and public services they wished were more readily available. Findings suggested the importance of increasing young adults’ access to a wider circle of peers beyond their current school and family networks while also advocating with families for specific public services and activities.
 
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