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Mainstream, Inclusionary, and Convivial Places: Locating Encounters Between People with and Without Intellectual Disabilities

journal contribution
posted on 24.11.2020, 22:47 by I Wiesel, Christine BigbyChristine Bigby
© 2016 by the American Geographical Society of New York.

Convivial encounters, where strangers experience temporary shared identification with each other, are valorised in recent literature for their transformative potential. For people with intellectual disabilities, encounters with strangers are an important aspect of social inclusion, and opportunities to become recognised and known within their communities. This paper considers the question of what places are most conducive for convivial encounters between people with and without disabilities. The paper draws on findings from a study conducted in the State of Victoria, Australia, that involved ethnographic observations of encounters between people with and without intellectual disabilities, as well as a survey and face-to-face interviews with people with intellectual disabilities, their support workers and neighbours. The discussion is framed around two broad categories of place, mainstream and specialist, which have the potential to be inclusive and convivial.


The study was funded by the Australian Research Council (LP110100462), and delivered in partnership with Yooralla and Jewish Care Victoria. The authors are grateful to Rachel Carling-Jenkins and Julie Biddle-Brown for their contributions to this project.

Australian Research Council | LP110100462


Publication Date



Geographical Review






14p. (p. 201-214)





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