When decisions are made concerning individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) and their social participation, their personal interests must be taken into consideration.
However, many people with ID are unable to express their preferences verbally, which places them at a disadvantage and can be a major obstacle to their quality of life. Life planning decisions are most often made on their behalf by the professionals who work with them or family members.
Being unable to express preferences verbally places one at a disadvantage.
However, a number of studies show that the preferences attributed to people with ID by those around them may differ considerably from their actual current preferences. Practitioners should therefore use non-verbal communication to facilitate the active participation of these individuals in the decision-making process.
This research project sought to develop and test a method for assessing the vocational activity preferences of non-verbal individuals with ID. The development of this method required the collaboration of a number of partners from the practice setting (psychologists, occupational therapists, educators, etc.) to enhance its applicability in Québec's practice context.
The study's findings will provide Québec professionals with an innovative tool to help increase the ability of people with ID to communicate and exercise their rights.
Virginie Cobigo, Université du Québec à Montréal
Call for proposals
Deposit of the thesis: July 2008