Accessibility and Social Participation in Urban Settings for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or an Intellectual Disability (ID)




 Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or an Intellectual Disability (ID) often have difficulties in interpersonal relationships, adaptation to new situations/environments and problem-solving. Today, many of these individuals face the challenges associated with adulthood in an urban setting. Despite the extensive research developed on children with ASD and ID in the indoor environment, little research has been done on the social participation of adults with ASD and ID within urban settings thus far. This systematic review aims to shed some light on the activities developed by adults with ASD and ID in an urban context, the main facilitators and obstacles of these activities, as well as the means of transportation used to achieve them. Like the rest of the population, adults with an ASD or ID engage in various activities related to work, leisure, community life or education, using different modes of transportation, including buses, to perform them. The most important obstacles identified are related to interpersonal relationships along with social and physical environments that are not adapted to their needs. In order to address these obstacles, health professionals, including occupational therapists, have a role to play in the development of methods and tools to increase the abilities of people with an ASD or ID. They can also participate in raising awareness among the population and can advocate for changes in the physical environment in urban settings.

Author Biographies

William Thériault, Université Laval

Occupational therapist (OT) and Master student in clinical and biomedical science at Université Laval

Ernesto Morales, Université Laval

Associate professor, Department of rehabilitation, Faculty of medecine, Université Laval and researcher at CIRRIS, Québec, Canada


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Article cover




How to Cite

Thériault, W., & Morales, E. (2022). Accessibility and Social Participation in Urban Settings for People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or an Intellectual Disability (ID). Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 12(1), 155–179.