Policies by People with Intellectual Disabilities

Libor Musil

Libor Musil is a professor at the Department of Social Policy and Social Work, Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University Brno. His research attention is focused on social workers dilemmas, social work institutionalisation and identity, and inclusion focused social work.

OBJECTIVES: The article aims at introducing the concept of “policies by people with intellectual disabilities”. THEORETICAL BASE: The idea that action plans pursued by people with intellectual disabilities (PID) can be seen as “policies” is derived from Street-level Bureaucracy (Lipsky, 1980), interpreted as suggesting the notion of bottom-level policies. METHOD: Action plans to promote PID opportunities were identified by analysing interviews devoted to the question of “what should be done for PID”, conducted in 2019/2020 in a selected local community. Two of the action plans, namely those formulated by PID, are examined in the article. An analogy between the features of street-level policies by Lipsky and the action plans by PID was identified. Hence, the PID action plans are interpreted as “policies by PID”. OUTCOMES: Two types of such policies by PID were identified, namely “personal supporting network” and “participation in public affairs”. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The PID narrations of PID concerning their social workers convey the message that social workers are expected to listen to the policies by PID and to contribute to their autonomous implementation by supporting PID in dealing with practical matters and in promoting their self-esteem.

intellectual disabilities, sheltered housing, becoming independent, autonomous policies, autonomous implementation

p. 21-35

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