The Self-Determination for Youth with Intellectual Disabilities in Taiwan
Concern over self-determination for youth with disabilities in Taiwan has gained increasing attention in the past decade. This concern has resulted in a strong agreement on the benefits of assisting youth with disabilities in leading a more independent life. Yet, the culture of Taiwan is strongly rooted in Confucianism, family values, as well as patriarchy, and exercise these influences within the special education in Taiwan. Thus, people with disabilities throughout their educational experience and into their adult life, are sometimes limited or denied the opportunity to take risks, make decision, and therefore experience these highly prized values. This research examined the self-determination issues and results for youth with intellectual disabilities in Taiwan through qualitative inquiry. Intense participatory interviews and thick interpretation on self-determination with 8 junior-high-school youth with intellectual disabilities were conducted and employed. Five domains parallel to the five needs in Maslow's Need-Hierarchy Theory that related to self-determination outcomes were determined by descriptive analytical synthesis and grounded theory. They are self-determinations on basic physical needs, on safety needs, on love and belongingness needs, on self-esteem needs, and on self-actualization needs. Recommendations are offered concerning the implications of these findings for youth with intellectual disabilities, their family, their community, the special education, and further research.
Keywords: Youth with intellectual disabilities, Self-determination, Qualitative study, Taiwan
Prof. Hung-Chih Lin
Department of Special Education , National Changhua University of Education