Does someone in your family have an intellectual disability (ID)? A survey shows that inclusion helps people who do not have intellectual disabilities to accept people who do have them. Personally knowing someone who has ID helps people to move past old stereotypes.
A survey was done by Harris Poll on behalf of The Special Olympic International World Games, and in partnership with Shriver Media. The survey was conducted online between July 13 and July 15 of 2015.
A total of 2,021 United States adults (ages 18+) took part in the survey. Out of this group, 1,103 were identified as someone who knew a person who has intellectual disabilities. The survey only included responses from people who agreed to participate in it.
The Maria Shriver website summarized the findings of the survey. One finding was that exposure to people who have intellectual disabilities is the “game changer” in many ways. The survey concluded that 56% of Americans personally know someone who has ID. That group is twice as likely to understand what it means to have an intellectual disability than are people who do not personally know anyone who has ID.
84% of the group who personally knows a person with ID said they would be comfortable employing someone who had ID. 87% said they would be comfortable working with a co-worker who has ID.
92% of the people who personally knew someone who has an intellectual disability said they would be comfortable having their child in the same class as a child who had ID. 53% of parents who knew someone with ID said they would be comfortable having their child date a person who had ID, and 47% were comfortable with their child marrying someone who had ID.
The survey found that 1 in 5 Americans had never heard of an intellectual disability. It also found that the 42% of Americans who do not have personal contact with someone who has ID are “significantly less accepting” of people with intellectual disabilities than are the people who know someone who has ID.
It seems that inclusion really is a “game changer” when it comes to how people view those who have an intellectual disability. This is why it is so important that schools include children who have ID in classrooms with students who do not have ID. This concept follows many student’s IEPs (individualized education programs) and increases the visibility of kids with ID.
Including students with ID on sports teams that includes athletes who have ID and athletes who do not, is also helpful. 77% of students who were on a Unified team said that they learned something from their teammates who had intellectual disabilities.
Image by Bryan McDonald on Flickr.
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