A look at inclusive post-secondary education in Alberta for individuals with developmental disabilities. Inclusion Alberta's leadership has contributed to the development of inclusive post-secondary opportunities across Canada and internationally.
What is inclusive post-secondary education?
Students attending regular college and university classes through Inclusive Post-Secondary Education attend as non-credit (audit) students. Students enrol in faculties and programs including Education, Business, Nursing, Kinesiology, Classics, Public Relations, Physical Education, Recreation and Arts, to name a few.
In class, fellow classmates offer assistance by doing such things as sharing notes, including in group work and encouraging discussion. Students with developmental disabilities take part in the same learning activities as their peers such as assignments, practicums, exams, and study groups and are supported to be successful by adapting and modifying materials and experiences as necessary. Students, classmates, instructors and Inclusive Post-Secondary Facilitators work together to create inclusive learning experiences for all. Students supported by Inclusive Post-Secondary Education seek to expand their student role by becoming involved in extracurricular activities such as clubs, students' associations, recreation and social activities.
Students with developmental disabilities attend post-secondary for the same reasons as other post-secondary students do, to:
• further their education
• meet new people and develop friendships/relationships
• develop and pursue career opportunities
• contribute to and benefit from campus life and associations
An inclusive post-secondary education raises the employment possibilities for an individual with developmental disabilities from 20% to 80%.
Alberta has more inclusive post-secondary initiatives and experience with inclusive education in higher education than any other jurisdiction in the world. Inclusion Alberta has been partnering with post-secondary institutions across the province for more than 30 years to include students with developmental disabilities to participate in regular programs of study. Currently there are twenty post-secondary institutions that include students with developmental disabilities.
Funding provided by the Government of Alberta.