'They care about a lot of folk. They definitely do.': Taking an asset-based approach to promote inclusion and support adults with intellectual disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic

Fulton, Lauren Elizabeth (2024) 'They care about a lot of folk. They definitely do.': Taking an asset-based approach to promote inclusion and support adults with intellectual disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Asset-based approaches focus on strengths and capabilities as opposed to deficits. Social inclusion is central to asset-based work and what it seeks to achieve. However, social inclusion is often difficult for people with intellectual disabilities to fully realise. This may have particularly been the case during the Covid-19 pandemic. This body of work sought to explore the role an organisation taking an asset-based approach had in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, both before and during the pandemic. It also explored the impact the pandemic had on the organisation and its members and how they adapted to the pandemic. A focus was placed on how the organisation taking an asset-based approach facilitated social inclusion among members and the role this organisation played in members’ lives both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. A case study design was adopted to address these aims.

The study initially incorporated in-person interviews and observations and a photomapping exercise. However, the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting government restrictions prevented data collection. A new study was designed to take these restrictions into account. A case study was carried out with an organisation taking an asset-based approach, dates-nmates, in Scotland. A single-case embedded design was adopted. Six members of the organisation were interviewed a total of 37 times either online or by telephone in the summer and early autumn of 2020. Each participant was interviewed up to seven times on a fortnightly basis for three months to capture change over time. They were asked about their experiences of the pandemic and their experiences of taking part in the organisation both before and during the pandemic. In addition to the interviews, social media data were collected from the Twitter account held by the organisation from March 2020 to June 2021.

It was found that participants faced a range of difficulties and barriers during the pandemic, but they also showed an ability to adapt. Their individual accounts illustrate some of the challenges people faced during this time and the strategies they employed to cope with this unprecedented situation. Dates-n-mates helped to support members during this time through the dissemination of information and by hosting a wide range of online activities, chats, events, and workshops. The restrictions that were in place during the pandemic meant that individuals were cut off from social connections and revealed the fragility of the support networks of many people with intellectual disabilities. However, dates-n-mates clearly helped to facilitate the broader social inclusion of members and fostered a sense of belonging within the group both before and during the pandemic, which highlights the importance of organisations like dates-n-mates, particularly during challenging life circumstances.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Supervisor's Name: Jahoda, Professor Andrew and Cairns, Professor Deborah
Date of Award: 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84193
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2024 11:45
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2024 11:47
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84193
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/84193

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