A Grounded Theory of Social Inclusion for Postsecondary Education Students with Intellectual Disability.
Students with intellectual disability (ID) now have opportunities to attend college. In 2014, students with ID accessed college through 221 Postsecondary education (PSE) programs in the United States (Think College, 2014). Students join PSE programs to acquire personal,social, and vocational skills to increase the likelihood of an independent and employed future. This study gave six students with ID, who were accessing college through a PSE program in the 2012-2013 academic year, the opportunity to assess their social experiences in the college community. Students’ typically developing peers, known as “natural supports”, who assisted students in meeting the demands of the college environment, also assessed students’ social experiences in college. Data were collected through student interviews as well as natural support focus groups and surveys. Quantitative results described Students as socially supported by friends and rarely lonely. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed using a constructivist grounded theory process to develop a social inclusion theory. The resulting theory described social inclusion as a function of belonging and attributed worth in context. Greatest opportunities for sustainable social inclusion were described as occurring in contexts where students had maximal control over their social choices and experiences. Recommendations are provided to assist the PSE program and others like it in developing strategies to increase student self-determination and opportunities for social control.
Prohn, Seb. A Grounded Theory of Social Inclusion for Postsecondary Education Students with Intellectual Disability. (Dissertation). North Carolina State University, 2014.