Chapter 10: TheAdult Years
- Early adulthood generally marks a time of transition from relative dependence to
increasing independence and responsibility—however adults with intellectual disabilities
are unable to completely independent in most situations
- Adults with intellectual disabilities may face significant challenges in accomplishing life
goals—i.e. may be unable to find or hold a job, or are not paid enough to live on their
- Adults with intellectual disabilities need lifelong support from family, friends, neighbors
- Successful adult living may be defined as:
a. Earning a living
b. Having access to further education when desired and appropriate
c. Personal autonomy and independence
d. Interaction with friends and community participation
e. Ongoing involvement within the life of the family
- Making Adult Choices: Competence and SelfDetermination
• Everyone is considered mentally competent—able to make rationed and reasoned
choices about their lives—at the age of majority unless legally determined
• An adult can be deemed incompetent through a process known as adjudication –
this is where evidence must be provided that the person does not have the capacity
to make rational choices
• Parents must make the decision whether or not their child has the right to self
• Self determination is an extension of a concept called “the principle of
normalization”, which means people with intellectual disabilities have access to
the conditions of everyday life that are as close as possible to those of people
without disabilities in the mainstream society
• Social role valorization (SRV) gives values to individuals with intellectual
disabilities –people’s welfare depends on the social roles that they occupy
• Selfdetermination takes the view that people with intellectual disabilities should
be able to make decisions and choices about their quality of life without
interference. This type of decision can be hard when dealing with people with
• Selfdetermination can be determined by factors including: optimal challenge and
empowerment, autonomy, competence, involvement, acknowledgment of
individual feelings, selfregulation.
• This can be hard to determine in people with intellectual disabilities. It is
important that people with intellectual disabilities to learn and apply self
determination skills in work and community life.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) • This act mandates that barriers of discrimination against people with disabilities
in privatesector employment be eliminated.
• It requires businesses that serve the public to remove architectural barriers—such
as curbs on sidewalks or narrow doorways.
• Businesses community must provide ‘reasonable accommodations’ to people with
disabilities in hiring or promotion practices—in restructuring jobs and modifying
• All types of transportation must be accessible. Public accommodations like
restaurants must also be accessible to people with disabilities.
• The ADA’s purpose is to provide people with disabilities an ‘equal playing
field’—as they seek the same opportunities afforded those who are not disabled.
- Supported Residential Living
• Community supports for people with intellectual disabilities should promote
personal autonomy, social inclusion, and choice of lifestyle.
• Supported living is the most appropriate residential arrangement.
• Emphasis on living and not programming.
• Forms include: group homes, semiindependent homes and apartments, foster
family care, and sheltered villages.
- Living with Parents and Siblings
• Some people with intellectual disabilities live with their family for their entire
• Parents of children with intellectual disabilitie