Universal design: Inclusive postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities

K. Ryan Wennerlind, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Stephanie M. Devine, Georgia Southern University
Matthew Love, San Jose State University

Abstract

Research presented at the 2019 TASH Conference in Phoenix, AZ. As college or some form of postsecondary education (PSE) continues to serve as a prerequisite for employment, it is important that all students have access to PSE. The passage of the Higher Education Opportunity Act has provided students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD) a pathway to college. While progress has been made in making PSE accessible for students with IDD, there are still areas of growth that can be explored for making PSE accessible and inclusive. Diversity practices aligned with tenets of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can be a pragmatic solution for meeting the needs of students as PSE continues to grow. However, for university staff and faculty who may not have experience working with students with extensive learning needs, support in doing so may be required. This presentation will present strategies and methods utilized in a PSE program supporting students with ID/D and highlight how successful collaborations with instructors were formed, and ultimately how practices aligned with the tenets of UDL were embedded within the course to support fully inclusive course offerings for students with ID/D. Additionally, data from an initial instructor training will be shared and future research to measure instructor growth and effectiveness of trainings will be discussed.