Stigma in the field of intellectual disabilities: Impact and initiatives for change

Shirli Werner, Dana Roth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


For years, people with intellectual disabilities (ID) have been among the least socially accepted groups of society (Thomas, 2000). Furthermore, whereas studies in the field of mental illness stigma are abundant, the literature on ID stigma is relatively scarce. The goal of this chapter is to focus on aspects of stigma that are unique to individuals with ID. To begin, we briefly trace the history of change in the terms used to describe this condition. Next, we highlight key developments that have a bearing on enhancing the societal status of people with ID. We show how the negative impact of stigma on people with ID still prevails in society within different areas of life, despite the change in terminology and enactment of important laws. Finally, we describe efforts that should be used to bring about real stigma change for people with ID.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe stigma of disease and disability
Subtitle of host publicationunderstanding causes and overcoming injustices
EditorsPatrick W Corrigan
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781433815836
StatePublished - 2014


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