This research represents an important advance with the development of a tool for the multidimensional measurement of Quebecers' attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities (ID).
The tool also provides information about the attitudes of specific groups that have a significant effect on the social integration of people with ID, such as teachers, health professionals, law enforcement officers and bus drivers. This study helped to identify the factors related to these attitudes. We learned among other things that young people have more positive attitudes than their elders towards people with intellectual disabilities. We now have interesting avenues for targeting more effective public awareness and education programs to reinforce positive attitudes and promote greater social integration of individuals with ID.
People with ID want to achieve their full potential and be recognized for their true worth.
While the attitudes of Quebecers towards this group may be more positive than in the past, they tend to feel sorrow and pity towards ID individuals, which is not conducive to their full autonomy and social integration. There is still a great deal of work to be done. People with ID want to achieve their full potential and be recognized for their true worth, but their integration depends to a large part on public attitudes towards them.
A better understanding of these attitudes will facilitate the identification of strategies to help break down certain barriers and thus promote the social integration of people with intellectual disabilities.
Diane Morin, Université du Québec à Montréal
Call for proposals
Deposit of the research report: March 2012