Leveraging Social Capital of Persons With Intellectual Disabilities Through Facebook Participation: The Perspectives of Family Members and Direct Support Staff.

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Abstract

This study aimed to understand and describe the views of family members and direct support staff regarding the use of Facebook by persons with intellectual disability (ID) within the context of social capital. In-depth, semistructured interviews conducted with 16 family members and direct support staff of persons with ID who use Facebook revealed that most participants favored Facebook use by persons with ID for bonding and bridging social capital and for normalization. Most participants noted the empowering effect of online activity on persons with ID, yet some reported risks and usage difficulties. Although Facebook use enhances the well-being of persons with ID, findings highlighted the participants' need for formal guidelines regarding social media best-practices for people with ID.

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