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The Politics of Person-Making: Ethics of Care, Intellectual Impairment Citizenship, and a Reclaiming of Knowledge

  • Charlotte Capri
Chapter

Abstract

Enabling and disabling socio-political thinking and decisions impact on resources for caring about intellectual impairment and can create two things: policy environments in which enabling services will be delivered and spaces that will include or exclude the participation of people with intellectual impairment as active citizens. To achieve citizenship with the rights and obligations this entails, we all require socio-political resources; but how often have we asked people with intellectual impairment what they need in order to live as full members of society? Intellectual impairment citizenship begins with respect for specific requests and needs, effective engagement with individual experiences and opinions, and recognition of a truer knowledge and expertise. Including intellectually impaired individuals as experts in research and policy formulation increases the likelihood that policies will more accurately reflect their social conditions and have greater impact on their daily lives. It remains our task to facilitate conditions and opportunities in which expert voices on intellectual impairment can be raised. In relational and intersubjective socio-political and research spaces, experiences of impairment are no longer bestowed upon but voiced by people who live with intellectual impairment in a disabling world—in other words, the real experts.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Mental HealthUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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