Community participation and inclusion: People with disabilities defining their place

P. Milner, Bernadette Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Disability-related public policy currently emphasises reducing the number of people experiencing exclusion from the spaces of the social and economic majority as being the pre-eminent indicator of inclusion. Twenty-eight adult, New Zealand vocational service users collaborated in a participatory action research project to develop shared understandings of community participation. Analysis of their narratives suggests that spatial indices of inclusion are quiet in potentially oppressive ways about the ways mainstream settings can be experienced by people with disabilities and quiet too about the alternative, less well sanctioned communities to which people with disabilities have always belonged. Participants identified five key attributes of place as important qualitative antecedents to a sense of community belonging. The potential of these attributes and other self-authored approaches to inclusion are explored as ways that people with disabilities can support the policy objective of effecting a transformation from disabling to inclusive communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-62
Number of pages16
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number1
Early online date15 Jan 2009
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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