Experiences and perceptions on disability and social participation in community rehabilitation centers in Chile1 1 This project was funded by the National Fund for Research and Development in Health (FONIS 2015). National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT Chile). Project SA15I20121.

Jame Rebolledo-Sanhueza Álvaro Besoain-Saldaña Mónica Manríquez-Hizaut Gabriela Huepe-Ortega Verónica Aliaga-Castillo About the authors


This study seeks to describe experiences and perceptions about disability and social participation of people with disabilities and professionals who are part of community rehabilitation centers in the Metropolitan Region of Chile. A qualitative study was carried out with a theoretical sampling of key actors from 4 community rehabilitation centers. 16 focus groups were conducted and a semantic content analysis was applied. The experiences of people with disabilities are diverse, there are common elements such as dependency made equivalent to disability and recognition of social barriers. Perceptions of disability represent individual and social models. The latter appears when injustices and discrimination are experienced. Social participation linked to the center is intense and affective. However, other participation spaces are scarce. The concepts of disability and levels of social participation show the need for more guidelines, training and resources for an effective implementation of community rehabilitation.

Disabled Persons; Social Participation; Disability Studies; Rehabilitation

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