What do we mean by our community?

J Intellect Disabil. 2005 Sep;9(3):241-51. doi: 10.1177/1744629505056697.


For several decades, the disability movement has been working towards what has been variously termed community living, getting an ordinary life, community participation and inclusion. Presented as a major paradigm shift to community membership, the essential and overarching aim has been to create a community where people with disabilities and their families are fully accepted and afforded the same opportunities for participation as non-disabled people. However, the full integration of people with disabilities remains an unrealized ideal. This article suggests that the concept of social capital has the potential to generate improvements in health, education, community care, community regeneration and employment. However, the fundamental opportunities to accumulate social capital for the intellectually disabled are considerable and their existing contributions are often undervalued. Furthermore, as the concept permeates into sociological and political discourse in the UK, its potential to generate further structural inequalities needs to be acknowledged.

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Employment
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Semantics*
  • Social Behavior