“Everyone Likes to Hang Out and Kind of Meet New People”: Descriptions of Social Inclusion in College
In the postsecondary education (PSE) community, the inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in postsecondary education is viewed as a human right with benefits that extend through campus communities (Jones et al., 2015; Kelty, 2014). Inclusion in a PSE community requires a minimum of two socially engaged partners (e.g., friends, classmates, club members, etc.). Direct accounts from social participants offer insights into the construction, meaning, and perceived impact of social interactions as they relate to PSE for students with I/DD. This study used participatory methods that recognize the capacity of all individuals to evaluate and change their circumstances and can provide pathways for isolating and decoding experiences. These methods have been described as effective in PSE environments (Paiewonsky, 2014). The accounts and recommendations featured in this summary were extracted from a larger mixed-methods study that also included survey and focus group data from peer supports.