Social inclusion of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the military

Shirli Werner*, Yael Hochman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background Despite policies advocating the social inclusion of persons with disabilities in all settings that are a part of everyday life within society, individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) are usually excluded from service in the military. Aims This study examined the meaning of service in the military for individuals with ID from the perspective of various stakeholder groups. Methods and procedures Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with 31 individuals with ID, 36 relatives, and 28 commanders. The recent model for social inclusion developed by Simplican et al. (2015) served as the basis for analyses. Outcomes and results Findings suggest a successful social inclusion process for individuals with ID, which resulted in them feeling as an integral part and as contributing members of the military unit and of society at large. Social inclusion in the military was described with reference to two overlapping and interacting domains of interpersonal relationships and community participation. Conclusions and implications The interaction between interpersonal relationships within the military and community participation has led to positive outcomes for soldiers with ID. Recommendations are provided for the continued inclusion of individuals with ID in the military and in other everyday settings.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Community participation
  • Inclusion
  • Intellectual disability
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Military
  • Qualitative


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