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Shared-life communities for people with a learning disability: a review of evidence

Author(s)

CUMELLA Stuart

Publisher(s):

University of Birmingham. School of Social Policy

A review of the evidence from research about shared-life communities for people with a learning disability, summarising the results from the small number of academic studies which have attempted to measure the quality of life of people with a learning disability living in such communities. This study shows how shared-life communities facilitate a high quality of life for their residents with a learning disability and in particular: high levels of meaningful employment - residents are able to work full time in a range of unskilled and skilled work essential to the daily life and economy of the community, while also exercising choice over where they are able to work; opportunities for friendship - a shared-life communities provide a large clustering of potential friends with the opportunity to meet in workplace and informal settings, while ease of communication enables friendships to be sustained; and long-term relationships - living in extended families in a long-term social relationship with co-workers/assistants enables both groups to become familiar with each other’s pattern of communication. (Edited publisher abstract)

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