Retirement for People with Intellectual Disability

Policy, Pitfalls, and Promising Practices

Authored by: Christine Bigby

Handbook on Ageing with Disability

Print publication date:  March  2021
Online publication date:  March  2021

Print ISBN: 9781138611498
eBook ISBN: 9780429465352
Adobe ISBN:


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In many countries around the world, a trend exists whereby a significant proportion of older people with intellectual disabilities remain socially isolated and without regular activities. This trend cannot be divorced from the limited policy development that has occurred in the area of retirement for people with intellectual disability. This chapter reviews issues of retirement for people with intellectual disabilities by tracing the debates over the past 40 years. It is chiefly concerned with exploring the experiences and perspectives of people with intellectual disabilities on retirement and the challenges retirement has posed for policy and service systems. The chapter offers some suggestions about future avenues for policy makers by suggesting that retirement in 2020 and beyond will be viewed through the lenses of disability rights and individualised funding schemes. As such, the scope and adequacy of individualised funding, quality of support practice, and inclusive capacity of communities are likely to be the primary determinants of the sense of belonging and purpose of older people with intellectual disabilities.

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