A Multiple Perspective Case Study of a Young Adult With Intellectual Disabilities Participating in a University Class
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In this qualitative study the experience of a young woman with an intellectual disability (ID) auditing a university course was explored from multiple perspectives. This young woman audited a curriculum course in a one-year, after-degree Teacher Education program at an Ontario university. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of this experience for the student, her classmates, and her curriculum course instructor. Data were collected at the University from observations of the curriculum course and from interviews with the participants. As well, observations were made at a community-based program that prepares adults with ID to take part in inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) to provide a description of the preparation of these adults for university experiences. The focal participant attended this program for four months prior to auditing the University course. Data from interviews with the classmates and the course instructor elicited both positive and negative responses concerning their experiences in the inclusive class. Positive responses include seeing inclusion in practice and coming to know the focal participant on a personal level. Negative responses concern whether or not a curriculum class was the right fit for the focal participant. Interview data from the focal participant show that she overwhelmingly enjoyed her experience auditing the Education course. She saw the interaction with same-age peers as a chance to socialize with these peers and as an opportunity to learn about being independent.