Young adults and disability: transition to independent living?

Hendey, Nicola (1999) Young adults and disability: transition to independent living? PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The study aims to explore young disabled peoples I concerns about independent living, and how they view the source of that independence.

The transition to adulthood poses particular problems for young physically disabled adults and independent living is a widely shared goal. The independent living movement has spearheaded an increasing awareness amongst disabled people of their rights as human beings and citizens and has brought together ideas on independent living and ways of achieving it. The philosophy of independent living is based on four assumptions: that all human life is of value; that anyone, regardless of their impairment, is capable of exerting choices; that people who are disabled by society's reaction to physical, intellectual and sensory impairment and to emotional distress have a right to have control over their lives, with whatever assistance they need to do so; and that disabled people have the right to participate fully in society. Government policy is consonant with the aims of the independent living movement: to keep individuals in the community and to address their needs more appropriately.

This study, which is based upon data from 42 young physically disabled adults uses qualitative methods which were inspired by the ideals of the Emancipatory Research Paradigm. Interviews were in-depth and informal and focussed on the periods before, during, and after transition. The work was conducted from the standpoint of the seven fundamental needs outlined in the social model of disability.

To what extent had the young people achieved independent living? None of the sample had achieved independent living in its fullest sense in terms of employment, independent housing, financial and personal control of assistance, life style, relationships, educational qualifications or transport. A minority had achieved some of these. The majority had low self-esteem and had received inadequate support from families and the education system and had poor employment prospects. Most were reliant on benefits which were insufficient to meet the extra costs associated with disability and few had received support from social services. Most appeared destined for a life on the margins of society.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Pascall, G.
Silburn, R.
Keywords: People with disabilities
Subjects: H Social sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 11631
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2010 14:17
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 14:59

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