Covid-19 – the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities

The corona pandemic affects everyone, but impacts some groups more than others. People with intellectual disabilities are a particularly vulnerable group for several reasons. Due to their disability, they often have difficulty understanding abstract phenomena, such as an invisible virus. At the same time, they are dependent on the support of others in their everyday lives, and therefore have many people around them. In addition, as a result of combinations of disabilities and illness, many belong to one or more of the risk groups for Covid-19.

The restrictions, such as social distancing, that are in place to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 infection have meant restrictions in the everyday lives of people with intellectual disabilities. For example, the closure of many workplaces (i.e. the daily activities that many engage in) and leisure facilities has led to significant restrictions in their activities and social contacts, especially for those with moderate or severe intellectual disabilities.

In an ongoing global study (19 countries), an anonymous web-based survey is being used directed at family members of people with intellectual disabilities and staff who work with people with intellectual disabilities, predominantly in group homes. Marie Cederschiöld högskola is responsible for Sweden’s participation in this global study. However, there is a lack of studies that focus on the experiences and perceptions that people with intellectual disabilities themselves have of Covid-19. Since this is a particularly vulnerable group, it is important to hear about their experiences first-hand.

In this study, the aim is to describe and analyse perceptions and experiences of the pandemic and its consequences for everyday life through interviews with people with intellectual disabilities.

The research questions are:

  • How has the pandemic affected the everyday lives of people with intellectual disabilities in their own assessment?
  • Which areas of life have been most affected and in what way?
  • How have people with intellectual disabilities perceived the information about the pandemic and the restrictions issued by the authorities?
  • How do people with intellectual disabilities feel that they, both as individuals and as a group, have been addressed during the pandemic?

Samhällsfrågor att arbeta med i framtiden

Vi har kopplat våra utbildningar till FN:s 17 globala mål för hållbar utveckling. Detta är mål som du kan få verktyg att arbeta med i framtiden:

U.N's global goals: Good health and well-beingU.N's global goals: Gender equalityU.N's global goals: Reduced inequalities

About the project:

Project group/collaborators:
External project group: The project is being carried out in collaboration with researchers at Umeå University and Lund University
Time period: 2021 -
Research area: Social work
Project status: Ongoing
Financier: MISA AB

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Last updated:
4 January 2022