Meeting the communication support needs of children and young people with intellectual disabilities in the Bolivian Andes

Susan Buell, Darren Chadwick

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Abstract

Services available for people with disabilities in Bolivia tend to be fragmented and costly. Children and adults with intellectual disabilities are more likely to have a related communication disability and are thus both literally and metaphorically excluded from having a voice. The following research aimed to explore the experiences of accessing services by people with communication disabilities in Bolivia through semi-structured interviews and one focus group carried out with family members, professionals, service providers, educators and policymakers. It aimed to establish the nature of current services in Bolivia where knowledge, information and resources are scarce. Findings indicated the need to consider an alternative to a medical model approach through a focus on empowering other stakeholders to participate more fully in meeting communication support needs. Conclusions plot ideas for future service delivery and emphasize the central power of sharing practical and expert knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-234
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Bolivia
  • communication disabilities
  • intellectual disability
  • service provision

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