Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Collaborative learning from loneliness (COLLELO). A transdisciplinary approach to understand and reduce loneliness together with people with mild intellectual disabilities

People with a mild intellectual disability (MID) experience more loneliness than people without MID. In the COLLELO project, researchers from social and humanities disciplines collaborate with people with MID and their (in)formal networks to create an (online) learning community that aims to understand and reduce the loneliness of people with MID.

2024 - 2028
Paul van Trigt

ABCDate/ leerzelfonline, Aveleijn, Buurtband/ Fort van verbeelding, Cordaan, LFB, Prokkel, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Universiteit van Humanistiek, PThU, EraHogeschool Windesheim, Nivel, Movisie en Vilans.

One of the most urgent and complex societal challenges of today is loneliness, in particular as experienced by people with MID. Research shows that people with MID often experience more loneliness than people without MID. However, knowledge about what their loneliness exactly entails, what the underlying causes are, and which approaches are fitting and sustainable to reduce or to come to terms with loneliness is still limited. Therefore, this project aims to contribute to facing the challenge of loneliness of people with MID using a unique transdisciplinary approach that will not only deepen our insight into this societal challenge, but will also provide solutions that are co-produced with people with MID and their (in)formal networks.

The project’s approach includes specific expertise from the humanities and social sciences to expose different dimensions of loneliness (emotional, social, existential), to further develop a model to understand the loneliness of people with MID more precisely, and to trace and develop approaches, practices and interventions that provide people with MID and significant others (relatives, care professionals, neighbours) with appropriate support. Collaborative learning is key to our research and necessary when we face the challenge of loneliness. As a consortium we work as an innovative transdisciplinary community of learners that will facilitate new and sustainable collaborations with special attention to the inclusion of marginalised voices and will produce an interactive and accessible (online) platform and database with tools to understand and reduce the loneliness of people with MID.

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