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Communication with Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Psychiatric Disabilities: A Summary of the Literature


  • Walton O. Schalick III MD PhD

    (University of Wisconsin and Central Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled)

  • Cecelia Westbrook

    (MD, PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin)

  • Brittany Young

    (MD, PhD Candidate, University of Wisconsin)


Governmental agencies serve individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) and Psychiatric Disabilities (PD) and must consequently communicate with these individuals at multiple points, from interviews with claims representatives to written notices sent to applicants and beneficiaries about highly complex material. We review the social scientific, survey research-based, cognitive testing-based and other relevant literatures regarding effective communication with these individuals. Given the nature of governmental contact with individuals with ID and PD, particular interest falls upon formal written communication, but other modes of communicating factual information (e.g., telephone, in-person) are also within the scope of this literature review. We evaluate what is known regarding the receptive and expressive communicative capacities of these individuals. We attempt to evaluate what is known about the communicative strategies to determine how the literature may inform a set of evidence-based best practices regarding for effective and efficient communication with individuals with ID and PD.

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  • Walton O. Schalick III MD PhD & Cecelia Westbrook & Brittany Young, 2012. "Communication with Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities and Psychiatric Disabilities: A Summary of the Literature," Working Papers wp264, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrr:papers:wp264

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    1. Roger H. Gordon & Alan S. Blinder, 1980. "Market wages, reservation wages, and retirement decisions," NBER Chapters,in: Econometric Studies in Public Finance, pages 277-308 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Burtless, Gary & Moffitt, Robert A, 1985. "The Joint Choice of Retirement Age and Postretirement Hours of Work," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(2), pages 209-236, April.
    3. Leora Friedberg, 2000. "The Labor Supply Effects of the Social Security Earnings Test," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 48-63, February.
    4. John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2012. "When Does It Pay to Delay Social Security? The Impact of Mortality, Interest Rates, and Program Rules," NBER Working Papers 18210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Feldstein, Martin & Samwick, Andrew A., 1992. "Social Security Rules and Marginal Tax Rates," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 45(1), pages 1-22, March.
    6. Șerban Georgescu, 2012. "Japan," Conjunctura economiei mondiale / World Economic Studies, Institute for World Economy, Romanian Academy.
    7. John B. Shoven & Sita Nataraj Slavov, 2012. "The Decision to Delay Social Security Benefits: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 17866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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