‘The Invisibles’: Conceptualising the Intersectional Relationships between Dyslexia, Social Exclusion and Homelessness.

Macdonald, Stephen J (2015) ‘The Invisibles’: Conceptualising the Intersectional Relationships between Dyslexia, Social Exclusion and Homelessness. In: Disability Research Today: International Perspectives. Routledge, Oxford, pp. 112-132. ISBN 9780415748438

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The chapter discusses the relationship between disability, impairment and homelessness within a social context. As there is a general lack of literature examining a relationship between specific learning difficulties and homelessness, the chapter predominantly draws on literature which links mental health/ learning disabilities to risk factors for becoming homeless. The study applies a quantitative methodology, drawing on primary data from the Multiple Exclusion Homelessness Across the United Kingdom Survey. Therefore, this study takes a structural approach to understanding the intersections between social exclusion, disability and key life events for homeless people with dyslexia.
This chapter analyses quantitative data on key domains of social exclusion for adults with dyslexia who have experienced homelessness. A comparison is made between adults with (n=68) and without dyslexia (n=375) who have experienced homelessness in the United Kingdom (UK). This is to investigate whether there are any statistically significant relationships relating to homelessness and dyslexia that can be conceptualised sociologically. While the chapter discusses different global approaches to defining homelessness, it focuses on UK definitions and policy responses.
The data reveals that people with dyslexia are over-represented within the survey population, and that there is an increase in addiction problems and mental health issues for this particular group. In particular, dyslexic participants are more susceptible to self-harm and increased suicide attempts. Although it might be expected that dyslexic people do not access health and social services, this study shows an increased engagement with particular professionals. I will conclude by suggesting that health and social services need to acknowledge conditions like dyslexia in order to improve support for this particular group of people that have experienced homelessness. The implication is that disabling barriers arising from childhood trauma, addiction issues, unemployment and a lack of services significantly reduce the life chances of homeless people with dyslexia.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Education and Society
Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Stephen Macdonald
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2016 10:58
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2020 15:48
URI: http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/6761
ORCID for Stephen J Macdonald: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4409-9535

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