Friday 24 May, 09:00 - 12:00
Thesis defence: Leena Berlin Hallrup
The auditorium at the Faculty of Health and Society, Jan Waldenströms gata 25
Welcome to Leena Berlin Hallrup's thesis defence. The thesis is titled Experiences of everyday life and participation for people with intellectual disabilities: From four perspectives, and opponent is Associate Professor Ann Cathrine Eldh from Linköping University.
The nailing of the thesis takes place on May 3, 10:15.
People with intellectual disabilities are dependent in many ways on the support of others if they are to have access to social life, services and support in society. In order to participate in various activities, they need intellectual and social support. This means that participation for them, depends in several ways on other people´s willingness to facilitate and promote participation. This imposes high demands on those professionals providing formal support for them. Hence, the overall aim of this thesis was to explore and describe from four perspectives the experiences of everyday life and participation for people with intellectual disabilities. The thesis contains four qualitatively oriented studies, which have evolved over time. Studies I-II, including participant observations and interviews, and were conducted in group homes with staff and adults with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, it emerged that adults with intellectual disabilities experienced different limitations in their everyday life, which indicates a lack of opportunity for participation (Study II). From the findings of these two studies, it became clear that participation is a central focus and that leadership is of particular significance for how participation is implemented; therefore, interviews were conducted with service managers (Study III). Lastly, within the framework of this thesis, the aim was directed at focus groups with significant others as the fourth perspective to provide a broad framing of what participation can mean for people with intellectual disabilities. Despite the fact that the disability policy has contributed to improvements for this target group, there are currently extensive shortcomings. This study has revealed deficiencies such as the lack of working methods to help staff facilitate participation (Study I); the lack of care worker´ continuity and the existence of many routines and rules in the group homes (Study II); more overarchingly, the financial situation was not adequate to promote participation (Studies III and IV). Consequently, there were also strengths and opportunities for a good everyday life and for participation. All four perspectives are important as, together, they contribute with a deeper understanding of what participation is and is not, in relation to people with intellectual disabilities. From the findings presented in this thesis, it can be said that participation is double-edged as the four studies highlight both the absence and presence of participation.