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Introduction to Research Theme: Social & Community Participation

The social and community participation theme explores a number of areas that are critical to overall quality of life for individuals with ID as they age.

Deinstitutionalisation policy and the greater focus on developing community living options has raised questions about the position of people with ID within the contexts of their family, local communities and wider society.

Key aspects of research explored under this theme include social networks of family, friends and other people. The type and quality of relationships that people with ID have, maintain and develop as they age is critical to their quality of life and this is a key focus under this theme.

Another focus under this theme is how actively older people with ID engage in their local communities. This includes leisure activities, membership of local voluntary groups and societies, transportation and the accessibility of local communities to this population.

An important extension of this is the sense of belonging that individuals have to their local communities, and the exploration or what community means for people with ID as they age.

Social and Community