Implementing Inclusion and Collaborative Teaming in a Model Program of Postsecondary Education for Young Adults With Intellectual Disabilities


Correspondence: Eric D. R. Folk, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, College of Education, Center on Disability Studies, 1410 Lower Campus Road, 171F, Honolulu, HI 96822-2313, USA. Tel: +1 808 956 3991; E-mail:


In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education announced an initiative to improve transitioning to postsecondary education (PSE) for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) by funding the model comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) program. The TPSID provides for grants to create or expand inclusive comprehensive transition and postsecondary programs for students with ID. The authors provide a descriptive report of one such TPSID-funded demonstration in the state of Hawai‘i and share preliminary feedback from student participants, agency and institutional partners, and project staff. The authors' interviews with the participants and collaborators provided insights and perspectives of the challenges inherent in implementing such a demonstration model. They found that student participants with ID, who were culturally and linguistically diverse, relished the opportunity to participate in PSE and were motivated by the opportunity to learn, meet new people, and contribute to their families. Interagency partners valued the process and benefits of interagency teaming, with most reporting that participating in collaborative teaming resulted in a shift in their views on inclusion of students with ID in PSE. The authors concluded that the implementation of an inclusive PSE transition model can be a transformative process for students with ID, PSE institutions, and support agencies. Furthermore, that collaborative interagency teaming is a powerful method to inform and empower the implementation of change and stimulate and facilitate new opportunities and approaches to improve transition outcomes for students with ID.