Definitions Matter in Understanding Social Inclusion

TitleDefinitions Matter in Understanding Social Inclusion
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMartin L., Cobigo V.
JournalJournal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities
Date PublishedDec
ISBN Number1741-1122
Accession NumberWOS:000298017200007
Keywordscommunity participation, health, integration, Intellectual disability, interrai id, leisure, people, productive activities, social inclusion, social relationships

Social inclusion is an explicit goal of legislation, policies, and supports for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in many countries. However, evidence outlining the dimensions of social inclusion is still limited. How we understand social inclusion defines how it is measured. This study aims to better understand the concept and indicators of social inclusion. Retrospective analyses were conducted on 1,341 adults with intellectual disabilities residing in institutional and community-based settings who were assessed with the interRAI Intellectual Disability instrument. Objective and subjective items in the instrument related to five domains of social inclusion (i.e., relationships, leisure, productive activities, accommodations, and informal support). The results highlighted the heterogeneity within domains, and by the nature of the indicator. Overall, percentages varied between 3.0% and 96.4% depending on which indicator was used; variability also existed in rates achieved using objective and subjective indicators. Acceptable-to-good levels of internal consistency were reported for three of the five domains; low correlations were found to exist between some, but not all, domains. The results of this study demonstrate that without an understanding of what social inclusion means for both general and vulnerable populations, it is not clear what is being measured, or how it should be measured. A clear definition of inclusion and its measurement is needed for decision-makers and service providers to define the nature of their responsibilities, set actions, and assess their effectiveness in achieving inclusion.

Short TitleJ Policy Pract Intel
Alternate JournalJ Policy Pract Intel