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Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability

Position Statements


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Intellectual Disability and Complex Support Needs


Debates about dedifferentiation: twenty-first century thinking about people with intellectual disabilities as distinct members of the disability group


Disability policies increasingly refer to ‘people with disability’, often failing to recognize the unique issues associated with having an intellectual disability. There are advantages and disadvantages to this stance. For example, it can mean that specialist knowledge about supporting people with intellectual disability to participate is not recognised and that practice and programs are not well adapted to their needs. But it can also strengthen advocacy and avoid the stigma often associated with being labelled as having an intellectual disability. ASID has used the term Dedifferentiation to refer this trend of not differentiating people with intellectual disability as a particular group. ASID, in collaboration with Professors Jennifer Clegg and Christine Bigby has developed a position statement on Dedifferentiation, and two background papers, a literature review published in RAPIDD and a shorter summary.