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Contributions to knowledge

  1. social justice theme – offer unique insight into PWID’s engagement with city spaces – the reasons for, and the meaning they attribute to these activities, and how they make space for themselves. en-visioning social space for PWID, if it is a measure of their social inclusion and citizenship. Why important?
  2. social model of disability –outcomes of our research may offer a way to critically think about and theorize ID in a social-spatial context
  3. innovative methodologies –the interdisciplinary approach and technology contribute new knowledge of research methods, useful not only as a tool for mapping peoples’ use of space, but also with potential for accessing the perspectives and experiences of PWID around many issues. They will facilitate acquisition of new knowledge
  4. policy – results will be of interest to self-advocates and their families and help inform city planning, policy, and program development on how to create more inclusive, urban spaces, and ways to make the voices of PWID more heard. Information secondary and post-secondary education systems around appropriate transition planning for youths with IDs leaving school.


  • While many adults have been able to carve out a place for themselves in the city, many had also been victims of discrimination and physical violence
  • Common theme of not feeling welcome, and not feeling part of the city
  • Ideas of how to make the city more welcoming?
  • Effected change in understandings of what it is like to have a IDD living in the city for non-disabled audiences

Social benefits:

Development of strong community and friendship bond amongst the research team

Skill development:

  • Research assistants develop new skills
  • Empowered indviduals with IDD to develop skills in research and self-advocacy
  • Prepare them for participation in future research projects, and self-advocacy initiatives.
  • Findings have potential to enhance curricular developments in university programs and training researchers and professionals in participatory research with adults with ID.
  • Lead to understanding amongst participants of what their experiences are – a voice, a platform to articulate experiences and issues important to them