/ November 19th, 2015 / 0 Comment

Promoting a different view of adults with a cognitive disability is one important factor in confronting social stigma, and creating more inclusive neighborhoods.

The authors Bruce Link and Jo Phelan, in their 2001 literature review, break the concept down into four component parts…

Social stigma involves four parts: (1) people distinguish and label human differences (2) dominant cultural beliefs link labeled persons to negative characteristics; (3) labeled persons are placed in distinct categories; (4) labeled persons experience status loss that lead to unequal outcomes.*

Kudoz challenges the link between the label of ‘cognitive disability’ and the inability to think & learn. We do that by putting people in direct contact with one another to exchange shared passions. Rather than put adults with a cognitive disability in a distinct category, we place all adults in the same blended category: as learners & teachers. In Kudoz, everyone can be both a host and a participant (what we call, a Kudoer).

Ricky, a local blogger, offers a video blogging experience in the Kudoz catalogue. He had no contact with adults with a cognitive disability before Kudoz – nor had his young children. Over the three month prototyping period, Ricky ran three experiences at his home studio. Each time, he engaged his kids in the experience too. Everyone got to know one another, and exchange their interests. We think the more Kudoz grows, and the more locals host experiences, the more we will confront stereotypes and enable adults with a cognitive disability to experience a status ‘gain’ that can help to equalize outcomes.

7 Conceptualizing stigma. Annual Review of Sociology 2001. 27:363–85


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