Abstract

Although postsecondary education (PSE) programs for students with intellectual disability (ID) have grown in recent years, there is little information about the social status of these students on an inclusive college campus. Because many college students without disability play a significant and enduring role in the functioning of PSE programs for students with ID, they provide an opportunity for insight into this question. This study used 3 peer-support focus groups (n = 15) to capture the observed social experiences of PSE students living and learning in a college community. The supports identified 4 foundational elements that determined whether students were more likely to be socially included or excluded. These elements were the campus environment, support, individual skills for developing and maintaining social relationships, and social self-determination. Recommendations are included which may assist postsecondary education programs in reducing social barriers and contribute to students' social inclusion in the college environment.

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