The purpose of this study was to identify perceived barriers to independent community living and employment among clients and staff members in a transitional living facility for persons with AIDS. This qualitative study used focus groups to collect these perceptions from staff members (N = 21) and clients (N = 16). Whereas staff identified both systemic and personal barriers, clients only identified systemic barriers. These findings suggest that both clients and staff recognize the types of environmental barriers to participation that have been identified by disability scholars. The findings also underscore a consequential gap between clients’ exclusive emphasis on environmental barriers and staff emphasis on clients’ personal barriers that impact upon participation.

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