Accessibility and participation in work and employment for people with intellectual disabilities within Gothenburg Municipality
Work and employment are a central part of an individual’s life, not only to gain financial security, but to establish your identity, gain a sense of belonging, as well as build social networks. In Sweden, participation within work and employment for individuals with intellectual disabilities is low and research about working life and intellectual disability is limited. The lack of access to the labor market for people with intellectual disabilities also speaks for greater risks of being discriminated against. This qualitative study investigates the discursive construction of intellectual disability in relation to work and employment within Gothenburg municipality policy. This has the aim to identify how formulations reinforce marginalization and exclusion of people with intellectual disabilities. This is put into perspective when investigating the experience of access and participation within work and employment for people with intellectual disability. This is done through interviews with people who participate in and work with Daily Activity. Using Critical Disability Theory (CDT) and Intersectional Theory, the results indicate a lack of complexity when talking about people with intellectual disabilities within Gothenburg City’s program for full participation for people with disabilities 2021-2026. Through the experiences, the results indicate a need for a multifaceted and changeable perspective on work and employment. The importance of considering the individual's own needs and wishes, as well as how opportunity is dependent on hierarchical relationships of gender, age, ethnicity and disability is acknowledged. Using these indications, the impact of experience on policy considers problematizing the use of essentialist formulations through a perspective of lived experiences.