The public defense of Camilla Ramsten’s doctoral thesis

Doctoral thesis and Licentiate seminars

Datum: 2018-10-19
Tid: 13.15 - 16.00
Plats: Room Delta, MDH Västerås

The public defense of Camilla Ramsten’s doctoral thesis will take place at Mälardalen University, room Delta (Västerås Campus) at 13.15 on October 19, 2018.

Title: ”Participation through ICT – studies of the use and access to ICT for young adults with intellectual disability”.

The faculty examiner is lecturer Jens Ineland, Umeå university. The examining committee consists of lecturer Gunnel Östlund, Mälardalen University and lecturer Thomas Strandberg.

Number: 272

Abstract

The right to full participation in society is stated in law to ensure that vulnerable groups such as people with intellectual disability have the same rights and possibilities as the general population. Technological development has changed the conditions of participation in society, including the types of interactions, information and societal services. Many young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disability require support in daily life. In Sweden, this is provided by the government, and each municipality is responsible for the provision of social care for people with disability. The changes in society and technology require the providers of social care to adopt technologies to enable participation.
The overall aim of the thesis was to identify the prerequisites for and aspects that enable the use of information and communication technology (ICT) and their effects on participation in daily life among young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disability (ID) resident in municipal disability services.
Using a quantitative descriptive approach, this thesis starts by mapping the organizational support throughout the country. This is followed by three qualitative studies. Focus group interviews with staff in residential care were conducted and analysed in Study II (a discourse analysis) and Study III (a content analysis). These studies focused on staff perceptions of the use of ICT by these young adults and how staff’s way of work enabled or hindered ICT use by these young adults. Study IV included interviews of young adults with mild to moderate intellectual disability living in municipal residential care about their daily ICT use.
The thesis findings show that the municipal organizations lack a comprehensive strategy of support for the use of ICT and instead trust staff to provide the needed support to the young adults in daily life situations. Staff members described the difficulties they encountered when providing this support for ICT, which were partly because of the lack of organizational resources. Staff also negotiate the responsibility for providing ICT support to other actors, such as schools or the trustee. Despite these perceived problems, staff members displayed enthusiasm about introducing and supporting ICT use for young adults with mild to moderate ID if adequate resources would be provided by the organization. They described both positive and negative aspects of ICT use by these young adults in relation to service provision and the young adults’ private lives.