Persons with ID, poverty and inclusion. A Dutch Perspective

Friday, November 1, 2013
First author:
Kröber H.
Belonging: Strenghts & Barriers I

1 Vilans, Utrecht, the Netherlands

2, Dordrecht, the Netherlands

3 Manon Verdonschot onderzoek & advies, Herten, the Netherlands

All authors:

Hans Kröber1,2, Manon Verdonschot3

Social Inclusion & Representation
poverty, inclusion, disability


This study is focused on the topic of poverty in relation to inclusion. The following research questions will be discussed. How is poverty defined? What data are available on poverty and people with disabilities? What are the causes and the effects of poverty in the field of belonging and inclusion? Also is examined how the support around ‘poverty and inclusion’ is organised, where the gaps are and how improvements  can be achieved.


Chosen is for  a combination of a qualitative and quantative research design. The study started with a literature scan. Known sources and the database Pubmed were consulted. Based on the literature a first conceptual model was developed. This model is used to collect and analyze data. The qualitative part of the research is based on several data collection methods (triangulation, 17 interviews; observations; memberchecks). During the coding process the codes were derived from the main features of the conceptual model.


The descriptive results showed that poverty is a complex social problem and a concept with different dimensions. People with disabilities are at risk  when it comes to poverty. Both causes in the environment ( for example complex law and regulations; habitat; wrong networks ) and factors associated with the individual ( for example a lack of skills; an addiction) are responsible. Poverty has a major impact on the different domains of quality of life of people with a disability and the enviroment. Belonging and participating in society is severely under pressure. Finding the right support is important. We found in this study examples of formal and informal support. Because of the complexity of all the regulations and the bureacracy, the supportworkers in care organisations don’t know how to act. 


We conclude, first, that poverty in the Netherlands is increasing and that persons with a disability are a group at risk. Poverty has a negative impact the quality of life and inclusion. When you do not have money it is hard to participate. Persons with a disability often stay at home and experience a lot of stress. All the energy is focused on their financial situation. Inclusion becomes an illusion. Three strategies are discussed with (1) a role  for the government; (2) the care organisations and the municipalities on the local level and (3) the role of persons themselves (empowerment).