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The need to foster resilience amongst young people with intellectual disabilities is increasingly recognised within policy. Critically, understanding of the actual means by which this aspiration might be most sensitively and effectively met is considered weak. This paper reports on an exploratory case-study of a social enterprise community café – The Usual Place - that through the promotion of employability, seeks to promote resilience amongst its young ‘trainees’ with intellectual disabilities. Two research questions were set: “ how is ‘resilience’ conceptualized within the organisation” and “ what features within the organisation are significant in fostering resilience”? We identify a range of significant features associated with being able to successfully foster resilience – the need for a foundational ‘whole organisation’(settings) approach based on high levels of participation and choice; the negotiation of a constructive dynamic tension between ‘support’ and ‘exposure’; and the embedding of these actions in embodied actions and day-to-day organisational activities.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Intellectual Disabilities


SAGE Publications

Publication Date



174462952311681 - 174462952311681