Exploring why people with intellectual disability choose to go to university

Heather Davies, Fiona Rillotta, Angela Lawless

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Introduction: Little is known about why people with intellectual disabilities (ID) choose to attend higher education or other postsecondary options. Benefits of inclusive higher education include: increased self‐determination, learning new skills, and having a socially valued role. The aim of this study was to examine the influence of social, academic, vocational, and family domains when choosing postsecondary options.

Methods: This project used a phenomenological approach. Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with people with ID (N = 5) from an inclusive higher education program, disability organisations, or Australian Disability Enterprises. Questions focused on domains of an individual's life (social, academic, vocational, and family) and the role these played in decision‐making regarding postsecondary options.

Results: All participants were personally involved in decision‐making; however, their involvement was usually only for minor decisions. Parents played an influential role in decision‐making for most participants. Participants who attended mainstream schools were more likely to express a desire to attend university. Some participants used vocational educational training courses as a transitional pathway.

Implications: Experiences of participants revealed barriers and facilitators to attending higher education. An increase in accessible information about post school options, including university, to secondary students and parents/caregivers could increase participation in higher education.
Original languageEnglish
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2019
EventInternational Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) 16th World Congress: Future4All - SEC Centre, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Aug 20199 Aug 2019
http://www.iassidd2019.com/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) 16th World Congress
Abbreviated titleIASSIDD19
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow, Scotland
Period6/08/199/08/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • higher education
  • University
  • postsecondary options
  • Decision making

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    Davies, H., Rillotta, F., & Lawless, A. (2019). Exploring why people with intellectual disability choose to go to university. Abstract from International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IASSIDD) 16th World Congress, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom. https://doi.org/10.1111/jir.12658