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"I am a college student": Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Iceland

"I am a college student": Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Iceland

Postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities is almost unheard of in the Nordic countries, but several colleges in America, Australia and Europe offer such programmes. These colleges seldom offer inclusive education services; since 2007, however, the University of Iceland has offered a Vocational Diploma in inclusive settings for students with intellectual disabilities. In this article we report on qualitative research carried out in 2009–2013 among 39 graduated students with intellectual disabilities from the University of Iceland and 14 lecturers who have taught inclusive college courses. The findings suggest that, despite some reservations, there seems to be a common agreement that this initiative is an important part of improving the access of disabled people both to education and society. The courses are inclusive, that is, offered to disabled and non-disabled students at the School of Education studying at the undergraduate level. The graduated students described increased social participation, knowledge and self-esteem. The lecturers described the inclusive courses as positive both for non-disabled and disabled students. The employment outcomes for graduated students have in general been positive.

APA Citation: 

Stefánsdóttir, G., & Björnsdóttir, K. (2015). “I am a college student” Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities. Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, 18(4), 328-342. 

Year of Publication: 
2015
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