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Chapter 7 - Intellectual Disability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 October 2022

Christopher C. H. Cook
Institute for Medical Humanities, Durham University
Andrew Powell
Formerly Warneford Hospital and University of Oxford
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Spirituality is a deeply personal universal human experience, and people with intellectual disability may miss out on the expression of this vital part of their identity, which is a fundamental human right. An understanding of people with intellectual disability as creative communicators has been gained through action research, but spirituality is still a poorly understood aspect of their lives, giving rise to unmet needs. Outdated practices and beliefs about the origins of disability have led to a culture of exclusion or, at best, tokenism. Around the world, reports are still emerging of marginalization, discrimination and even abuse because of negative spiritual attribution or views about cognitive abilities and consequent economic worth. Faith communities and secular care providers need to incorporate new learning about the importance of spirituality for mental health into mainstream planning of care with the involvement of people with intellectual disabilities who communicate creatively as co-producers.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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