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Participation in major life areas is one of the main goals of rehabilitation, and a measure of rehabilitation success following neurotrauma such as spinal cord injury or acquired brain injury. Participation includes active engagement at the community level, and is a means to experience social connectedness ...

Participation in major life areas is one of the main goals of rehabilitation, and a measure of rehabilitation success following neurotrauma such as spinal cord injury or acquired brain injury. Participation includes active engagement at the community level, and is a means to experience social connectedness with other people and communities. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) (United Nations, 2006) sets forth the rights of people with disabilities to participate in cultural life, recreation, leisure and sport, have equal access to primary and secondary education, have equal rights to vocational training, adult education, and the right to work and make a living. The importance of participation following an injury or acquired disability is reflected in the participation domains of the International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF). These include: Inter-personal Interactions and Relationships (family relationships; intimate relationships; sexual relationships); Major Life Areas (school education; higher education; remunerative employment; economic self-sufficiency); Community, Social and Civic Life (recreation and leisure - physical fitness activities included in this domain; religion and spirituality; human rights).

Increasingly at a government policy level, these rights and participation aspirations are recognized, yet, there remain inequities and barriers to the full participation of people following acquired disability throughout the world. The goal of this special edition is to highlight innovations and future thinking in relation to promoting the participation of people in the community following neurotrauma.

Submissions can include original research articles (qualitative or quantitative designs), study protocols, or literature reviews that address barriers to, predictors of, and measurement, or provide interventions that promote participation. Studies that utilize participatory approaches, or co-design or are particularly welcomed. Themes relevant to this research topic include, but are not limited to:
• Participation in leisure, sport or community recreation
• Relationships with family, friends, and sexual relationships
• Education participation
• Return to work
• Barriers to participation, including transport, access to care
• Policies related to promoting participation
• Peer support
• Transitioning to community living

Keywords: Participation, Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Neurotrauma, Disability, Social Inclusion


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