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1147167_Bigby,C_2020.pdf (1.15 MB)

Creating opportunities for convivial encounters for people with intellectual disabilities: "It looks like an accident"

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-11-10, 01:00 authored by Christine BigbyChristine Bigby, Sian AndersonSian Anderson

Background: “Convivial encounter” provides a new lens for understanding social inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, characterised by shared activity and friendly interactions with strangers without intellectual disabilities. Places, props and support practices facilitate incidental convivial encounters. This study explored processes for deliberately creating opportunities for such encounters.

Methods: A case study design used mixed methods to collect data from two disability organisations about convivial encounters the people they supported experienced and staff practices that created these.

Results: Most commonly convivial encounters created involved repeated moments of shared activity through which people became known by name by others without disabilities. Eight approaches and five processes were used to create these opportunities for encounter.

Conclusions: The study provides a blueprint for scaling up or creating interventions to create opportunities for convivial encounters, and opens lines of enquiry about staff competences needed and parameters for costing this type of intervention.


Publication Date



Journal of Intellectual & Development Disability






p. 45-57


Taylor and Francis



Rights Statement

© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.