Are differently abled friendships different?


Author Peggy Hutchison writes: “…extensive obstacles to friendship  exist in families, communities, and services. As a result of these  obstacles, people interviewed in this study reported knowing about very  few real friendships which exist between people in their communities  with handicaps and other citizens. This finding that the majority of  people with handicaps still have few or no non-disabled friends is  consistent with other findings” (Hutchison, 1990).

After viewing  the film, Rory O’Shea Was Here, and evaluating Hutchinson’s idea (both  in the film and in your experience), please answer the following in a  post of at least 350 words. You must refer to the movie and relate the two articles to the movie as you answer the questions below:

  • In what ways might it be possible for persons who are differently  abled to enjoy deep and meaningful friendships compared with those  outside of the community? What are the challenges?
  • What are some of the special considerations for having friendships with persons who are differently abled?
  • What is your own experience of friendships with persons who are differently abled? 

 Hutchison, P. (1990). “A qualitative study of the friendships of people with disabilities.” (Links to an external site.) Ontario: Ontario Research Council on Leisure.  [PDF, File Size 54.5 KB] Retrieved  from 

 Film: Rory O’Shea Was Here. This can be viewed though ITunes, Youtube, Google Play, or Amazon. 

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