Encounter as a dimension of social inclusion for people with intellectual disability (14334)
Much insight into the significance of urban encounter can be gained by examining the experiences of people with intellectual disability, who are subject to extreme forms of social exclusion. Social exclusion and inclusion are often understood in terms of membership of individuals in relatively stable social networks based on lasting relationships. Yet in cities, where individuals are often surrounded by strangers, fleeting encounter with others can perhaps be understood as another important dimension of social inclusion. In this paper we consider the role of encounter between people with and without intellectual disability in drawing boundaries of social inclusion and exclusion. Presenting analysis of observations, interviews and survey data, we highlight the significance of encounters where difference is not merely passively tolerated, rather is actively made welcome through gestures of recognition, acceptance and care.