The lived experience of people with intellectual disabilities in post-secondary or higher education

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Abstract

The transformational role education plays in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities has not been fully examined. The purpose of this study was to explore and investigate the meanings people with intellectual disabilities construct of their experiences in post-secondary and higher education. Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenology was the qualitative methodology adopted for the study. Individual interviews were conducted with 27 people with intellectual disabilities and analysed in stages. These stages included the creation of I-Poems offering a unique opportunity for individual participant voices to be heard. Three core themes emerged to describe living an authentic life: learning (with the emphasis on increased skills, independence and opportunities); relationships (in particular, the importance of friendships), and perceptions including the existing realities of life for those with intellectual disabilities. The findings advance previous work highlighting the link between living a more authentic life and how education transforms how people with intellectual disabilities view themselves
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disabilities
Early online date9 Oct 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Oct 2018

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