Episode 122 - Bonnie Fader Wilkenfeld, Dr. Kenneth Robey, and Eileen Murray: Impact of the Arts on Identity Structures of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities

Monday, June 24, 2013, 9:08:54 AM

Image of Bonnie Wilkenfeld, Dr. Kenneth Robey, and Eileen Murray

In this episode, our guests discuss their study of the quality of life of persons with developmental disabilities, whose ability to engage in self-actualizing and fulfilling experiences is often limited by conventional perceptions held by service providers and caregivers. Specifically, our guests discuss their work examining the link between a facilitated arts program and the participants' sense of self.

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Average Rating: 4stars  review of podcast, Thursday, February 06, 2020

By Courtney Perkins :

I really enjoyed this podcast. I think this is a great idea and can be very helpful to those with developmental debilitates and with autism. This research and new program I think can lead us in the direction of integrating more creative arts into different therapies, which has been showing to be very helpful in some cases. I do also think, however, that there is room for implementing other programs with the same basic idea of expression and finding self identity not involving art for those who do not enjoy art as much. Though this is a great step for those who enjoy the arts, it may not be able to be applied to everyone, as not everyone enjoys arts or can be creative in that way. A good point was made in that this is something that can help to educate and enlighten the public on those with developmental disabilities and increase their social image, thus leading to decreasing stereotypes and being more accepted. Program such as this can lead to great advancements in many areas, such as in societal views, policy, or in therapies.

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Average Rating: 3stars  an interesting way to empower individuals, Monday, January 27, 2014

By Amber H. :

I enjoyed hearing the perspective of the researchers who utilized creative arts as a means to help individuals with developmental disabilities form positive identity structures and express themselves. The researchers mention the importance of an individual being able to communicate and express emotion to caregivers and family members. Particularly for individuals with verbal or communication impairments, the art program seems to offer the person control over his or her environment and facilitate empowerment. However, I do wonder whether this program is truly person-centered. Although it seems to have a positive impact for the participants, it is important to ask whether the individuals involved value art as a means of expression. Based on my personal field experiences, the service system is currently incorporating a person-centered approach in which it would be a detriment to an individual's agency to assume that the arts program is the "solution" for every individual. Instead, the individual should be enabled to choose a program which he or she values, whether that be arts, athletics, volunteering, etc. While the researchers employ a very creative method for empowering people with disabilities, service providers should be cautious when assuming a one-size-fits-all approach will satisfy every individual’s needs.

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