The social inclusion of people with intellectual disability has typically been defined and measured in terms of their ‘presence’ and ‘participation’ in community life. In this paper we point to a very wide spectrum of social interactions—or ‘encounters’—between people with and without intellectual disability which fall into neither category. We offer the concepts of ‘being recognised’ and ‘becoming known’ to describe encounters which are neither passive presence in the community nor the fully fledged relationships of community participation. Rather, these concepts can be used to describe the day-to-day experiences of people with intellectual disability negotiating their use of public spaces and facilities in ways which can at times be different from prevailing norms. Based on a survey and interviews with local residents in three metropolitan suburbs and one country town in the State of Victoria, Australia, we analyse the social and spatial dynamics influencing the frequency and nature of encounters between people with and without intellectual disability.