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Research Article  |   July 2004
Quality of Life and Supported Employment: A Case Study of Three Women With Developmental Disabilities
Author Affiliations
  • Susan Siporin, MS, OTR, is Occupational Therapist, Cass Community Social Services Partial Day Program for Adults with Developmental Disabilities, Detroit, Michigan. Correspondance address: 31020 Applewood Lane, Farmington Hills, Michigan 48331; skygoddess@senecacom.net
  • Cathy Lysack, PhD, OT(C), is Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology and Department of Occupational Therapy, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Work and Industry / Supported Employment
Research Article   |   July 2004
Quality of Life and Supported Employment: A Case Study of Three Women With Developmental Disabilities
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2004, Vol. 58, 455-465. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.4.455
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2004, Vol. 58, 455-465. doi:10.5014/ajot.58.4.455
Abstract

This paper presents the findings of a qualitative case study of the quality of life of three women with developmental disabilities. In-depth interview data were collected from the women who had previously worked in a sheltered workshop environment and were, at the time of study, working in supported employment in the community. Interviews were also conducted with each woman’s job coach and a family member or close friend. On-site observations of the women in their supported employment environments were also undertaken. Results show that the women’s own perceptions about their quality of life were not always as family members and job coaches expected, and that the purported benefits of supported employment for the three women with developmental disabilities were not always realized. Occupational therapists have an opportunity to facilitate the occupational performance of adults with developmental disabilities but they must be willing to engage in wider health and social policy change if they are to make significant gains.