Brief Report  |   December 2015
Occupational Engagement and Adults With Intellectual Disabilities
Author Affiliations
  • Wanda J. Mahoney, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL. At the time of the study, she was Doctoral Student, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL; wmahoneyot@hotmail.com
  • Elysa Roberts, PhD, OTR/L, is Senior Lecturer, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia. At the time of the study, she was Assistant Professor, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Kimberly Bryze, PhD, OTR/L, is Program Director and Associate Professor, Midwestern University, Downers Grove, IL
  • Judith A. Parker Kent, OTD, EdS, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Associate Professor and Chair, University of the Sciences, Philadelphia. At the time of the study, she was Associate Professor, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Article Information
Intellectual Disabilities / Departments / Brief Report
Brief Report   |   December 2015
Occupational Engagement and Adults With Intellectual Disabilities
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2015, Vol. 70, 7001350030p1-7001350030p6. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.016576
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, December 2015, Vol. 70, 7001350030p1-7001350030p6. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.016576
Abstract

People with intellectual disabilities may be predisposed to occupational alienation as a result of an inherent need for ongoing support and limited understanding of how they express choice and engagement in occupation. In response to this risk of occupational injustice, this phenomenological study explored the occupational engagement of adults with intellectual disabilities in a community-based day program. Data were collected through interviews using visual supports and through observation of activity groups using the Volitional Questionnaire. Thematic analysis illustrated how participants demonstrated engagement in occupation through doing activity/initiating action, expressing positive affect, and showing focused attention. Findings can inform how occupational therapy practitioners describe and facilitate occupational engagement in adults with intellectual disabilities.