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Keywords:

  • intellectual disability;
  • people with disabilities;
  • social exclusion;
  • Taiwan

Abstract

Background  The aim of this exploratory study is to examine to what extent adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Taiwan are socially excluded and to identify the factors that are potentially associated with such social exclusion.

Methods  The research method of this study is secondary data analysis, using descriptive and χ2 statistical analysis. Two data sets, from the 2003 and 2006 surveys entitled ‘Survey of Living Situation for People with Disabilities in Taiwan’, were used (n = 572; n = 618). In addition, ‘independent living/living within the community’ (as opposed to residing in an institution), ‘employment’ and ‘household economic situation/residing in a low-income household’ were social exclusion indicators in this study.

Results  The results revealed that in the 2003 (2006) survey, 81.9% (79.6%) of the subjects fell into at least one category of social exclusion, 11.3% (12.3%) fell into two or more categories and 0.2% (1.1%) fell into all three categories. Moreover, older women with ID, with no spouse or partner, lower educational levels and greater severity of the disability had a significantly greater likelihood of being subjected to more categories of social exclusion.

Conclusions  The finding that the proportion of adults with ID and no social exclusion has risen from 18.1% in 2003 to 20.4% in 2006 represents an encouraging trend. However, there has been a marked increase in the proportion of the subjects with more categories of social exclusion, particularly with regard to those who have to endure all three categories, from 0.2% in 2003, to 1.1% in 2006. This implies that, at the time of the last survey, there was still considerable room for improvement in the social inclusion of adults with ID in Taiwan.