From the Dorm to the Community: Achieving Successful Inclusion After College

Many post-secondary education (PSE) programs for students with intellectual disabilities (ID) have recently emerged. However, few follow-up cases have been reported on the outcomes of these programs. This presentation will discuss how a PSE program and family collaboration led to the successful transition of a young man with ID back to an inclusive life in his rural community, allowing him to “be the future.”  After this session, participants will be able to: • Describe the key elements of an inclusive, on-campus, residential PSE program for students with ID. • Discuss how the PSE program was designed to foster independence and self-determination, while providing natural supports when supports were necessary. • Explain how the program engaged with parents and families to encourage success in the program and to plan for post-program inclusive success when transitioning back to the community. • Describe how one family imported elements of the PSE program into its community to develop employment and other meaningful community activities by using natural community supports to achieve success in post-PSE life. • Discuss the impact of successful community inclusion on the quality of life of an individual with ID, his family, and his community members.

Kelly Kelley, Becky Garland, David Maennle, David Westling