Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities: Educators in Expressive Arts Therapy

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Karen Caldwell Ph.D., Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe students’ experiences during their participation in Express Yourself, an expressive arts service-learning program that partners university students from several different programs with adults with intellectual disabilities. In reflective papers students reported that they were most challenged in meeting their partners, determining their partners’ abilities and their own role, and assisting their partners in expressing themselves through art. We found that students need instruction in how to speak respectfully to individuals with intellectual disabilities and that students benefit from the time to reflect on their experiences. Our results support the conclusions of previous research on service learning that direct experience with individuals with disabilities can reduce stereotypes and facilitate understanding between individuals.

Additional Information

Caldwell, K., Brinko, K. T., Krenz, R., & Townsend, K. (2008). Individuals with intellectual disabilities: Educators in Expressive Arts. The Arts in Psychotherapy 35, 129-139. Available online at (refereed)
Language: English
Date: 2008
Expressive Arts Therapy, Intellectual Disabilities, Service Learning, Diversity Training

Email this document to