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Background People with intellectual disability often have few friends and experience social exclusion. Recognising this gap, supported social groups with the aim of inclusion and interdependence were created by a supported employment provider. Methods Interviews were undertaken with 10 adults with intellectual disability exploring their lived experiences of a supported social group. Data were analysed using descriptive phenomenology. Results Two themes emerged (i) supported engagement fosters wellbeing, and (ii) developing social belonging and connectedness. Participants not only acknowledged the support that they needed to participate, but also that the social group had changed their lives in many ways. Conclusions Adults with intellectual disability want to socialise, have friends and be part of their community. For this to be achieved, they recognise the need to seek some form of support. With appropriate and targeted support, adults with intellectual disability can move from social exclusion towards supported inclusion and experience richer lives.

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Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


© 2016 The Authors Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License,which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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