Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

Sociology and Social Policy

Research Student: Anne-Marie Callus

A qualitative study of the self-advocacy movement for people with the label 'intellectual disability' in Malta

This thesis will analyse how people with intellectual disability in Malta construct their identity and talk about their lives, how non-disabled people construct the label ‘intellectual disability’, and how the former use self-advocacy to combat the deleterious effects of this label.

This research will be carried out within the context of the overall aim of exploring critically the main socio/cultural forces that influence the ascription of, and responses to, the label ‘intellectual disability’ in Malta, and the formation, development, aims and objectives of the Maltese self-advocacy movement for people so labelled from the perspective of members of that movement, parents/carers and service providers.

In order to address this aim, the following research questions will be addressed:

  • What are the main factors that influence the application of the label ‘intellectual disability’ in Malta?
  • How is the label ‘intellectual disability’ interpreted and understood by people labelled in this way?
  • How is the label ‘intellectual disability’ interpreted and understood by parents/carers and service providers?
  • What are the principal forces that influence the formation and development of the self-advocacy movement for people with ‘intellectual disability’ in Malta?
  • What are the key aims and objectives of the self-advocacy movement for people with ‘intellectual disability’ in Malta?

Data will be gathered from the monthly meetings of a Focus Group made up of 12 persons with intellectual disability, individual interviews with the Focus Group members and interviews with service providers and representatives of NGOs.

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