Within a private university in the United States, BUILD is a two-year program for individuals with intellectual disabilities. BUILD provides inclusive opportunities in coursework, employment, residential, and social activities with traditional students, as well as life skills and career training in courses specific to BUILD students.
This empirical phenomenological research study explored the lived experience of students with intellectual disabilities enrolled in the BUILD program. From interviews with six participants, the themes of social experience, independence, safety, and belonging emerged. The findings of this research indicate that the opportunity-rich environment, a network of support, and a community of belonging contributed to the participants’ growth in self-determination. Therefore, innovative college programs can be used as an intervention to improve or enhance the self-determination of individuals with intellectual disabilities and these findings offer intervention components to consider in designing and implementing future programming.
Ed.D. in K-12 Administration; Special Education (M.A.); College of Adult and Professional Studies
The Journal of the International Association of Special Education
Lindell, M., Daniels, J., & Michener, M. (2021). The Lived Experience of College Students with Intellectual Disabilities. Journal of the International Association of Special Education, 21(1), 34-45.