n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Dance and music as mediums for the social integration of children with intellectual disabilities into mainstream society : dance

Volume 16, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


People with intellectual disabilities, who form the largest proportion of the disability population globally, are often isolated from the social fabric of their communities through the prejudices of others, or hindered by their disabilities to participate in everyday community activities. Children with intellectual disabilities are no exception. They lead lives that are largely passive and inactive due to their alienation from those without disabilities, yet they share the same universal need for interaction. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of educators regarding dance and music as mediums for the social integration of children with intellectual disabilities in society. Using a qualitative approach, three focus group interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of educators. A template of codes which consisted of four broad themes, namely attitude, self-realization, interaction and support, was developed based on the purpose of the study and the literature review. Interviews were transcribed verbatim from the recordings and both the recordings as well as the transcripts were made available to each author who analysed the data independently. An interactive and recursive process which involved listening, reading and summarizing the raw data to identify meaningful categories was used. Several positive outcomes emerged from the focus group interviews enlightening the study on the positive use of dance and music in bridging the divide between children with intellectual difficulties and mainstream society. The study found that dance and music are positive mediums that can be used to integrate children with intellectual difficulties into mainstream society. Based on the findings of the study several recommendations were made.

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