As a paradigm of the welfare for the disabled has been transformed into the independent living model, the deinstitutionalization and independent living of people with disabilities living in facilities are also continuously expanded. Therefore, the study explored the experiences of independent living among adults with developmental disabilities deeply and comprehensively, based on the perspective of self-representation, and it also sought policy support measures and practical support systems for the actual independent living of adults with developmental disabilities.
A total of nine adults with developmental disabilities who have been living independently for more than one year in the community after deinstitutionalization were selected as the study’s participants and it collected data through individual in-depth interviews. The nine people with disabilities selected for the individual interview were recommended by the Independent Living(IL) centers. In addition, in order to supplement the interview data of the person with developmental disability, several care-givers who support the people with developmental disabilities were added as interview subjects and interviewed. The study utilized the qualitative case studies, based on the experiences of the study’s participants, the experiences of adults with developmental disabilities in the course of independent living were categorized into the subjects and meaning units and analyzed.
As a result of qualitative case analysis, key themes such as‘planting seeds of independence in the barren land,’‘nurturing the buds of independent living,’ ‘experiencing a growth ache,’‘suffering a bitter blow,’and blooming the buds of independence’were identified. Based on the results of this study, policy implications and practical suggestions for the stable independent living of adults with developmental disabilities were presented.