A storied life : learning from the voices of youth with developmental disabilities
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SubjectCapabilities Approach; developmental disabilities; disability; identity making; narrative inquiry; transition planning
Youth in transition in the province of British Columbia are individuals aged 14-25 who have IQs below 70. Within the province, youth in transition, or individuals with developmental disabilities, are disadvantaged by the long-standing use of the medical/deficit model. Social injustice is perpetuated by provincial institutions whose policies use a medical/deficit model of assessment and goal setting, such as the school system and adult services under Community Living British Columbia. While there is a desire for change within the province, there has been no model proposed for use. This dissertation used mixed methods, focusing on narrative inquiry and thematic analysis of transcripts. Multiple, in-depth interviews were conducted over a year and a half with ten youth in transition and their families, to assess the Nussbaum Capabilities Approach to Human Development (CAN) as a replacement paradigm to the medical/deficit model. This research demonstrated the following outcomes: 1) the narratives of youth with developmental disabilities constitute knowledge; 2) this knowledge can be used to inform the need for change within our society; 3) experiences of youth with developmental disabilities are impacted by use of a medical/deficit model; 4) CAN reflects the identity that youth in transition create for themselves; and 5) CAN is an appropriate replacement model for use with youth in transition to goal set.
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