Inclusive Pathways: Enhancing Higher Education for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities June 3, 2024 at 1:15 pm

Over the past decade, a significant expansion has occurred in national programs offering post-secondary options for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). However, few of these programs exhibit full inclusivity and possess empirical evidence supporting their efficacy. According to Alqazlan et al. (2019), individuals with I/DD who access opportunities and support within inclusive post-secondary education (PSE) settings are poised for meaningful employment, community integration, social acceptance, and independent living (Miller et al., 2018). Additionally, peer supports, including peer mentoring, have demonstrated effectiveness in fostering positive academic, social, employment, and mental health outcomes (Wilt and Morningstar, 2020). Nevertheless, data suggests minimal opportunities and supports in Arizona to facilitate these outcomes effectively (Cawthorne, 2016; Milem et al., 2016). The Supporting Inclusive Practices in College (SIP-C) program provides comprehensive support to students with I/DD across Northern Arizona’s expansive territory. A SIP-C participant will share their firsthand experience navigating college with a learning disability, illustrating how academic and natural supports contributed to their success and positive collegiate experience.

Key Learning Outcomes

1. Understand the significance of inclusive higher education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including its impact on employment, community integration, and independent living.

2. Explore effective peer support strategies, such as peer mentoring, in fostering positive outcomes for students with disabilities in post-secondary education.

3. Gain insights into the challenges and opportunities of inclusive practices in higher education, focusing on the SIP-C program in Northern Arizona and its role in supporting student success.

Speaker(s)

Musgrove, Risner, Smith
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