The Image of Disability Among Intellectually Disabled People
The work presented in this article is based on the theory of social representations and it is an exploratory study that aims to know the image that intellectual disabled people have about disability. 17 intellectual disabled people of both sexes (ages range from 16 to 44 years old) participated in this study. An individual interview was done about disability and participants were asked to make two drawings: a drawing of a disabled person and a drawing of a non-disabled person. All data were collected by the psychologist of the Center where the participants are service users. After referring to the main methodological difficulties we faced in data collection, we present the results of a content analysis of participants’ answers. Essentially, this analysis shows the existence of two images of disability associated with two groups of individuals: those who saw disability as physical or sensorial disability and also as an inability to acquire some school competencies and those for whom the disability is always - and only - the easily visible disability, i.e., physical or sensorial disability. Finally, we discuss the results in the framework of social representations theory, in their links with identity processes and the social imaginary around the disability.