(Un)restricting the imagination: community engaged research involving college students with intellectual disabilities and implications on scholarship, postsecondary programming and pedagogy in higher education

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lalenja Giddens Harrington (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Leila Villaverde

Abstract: This dissertation explores the intersection of community engaged research and arts-based methodologies involving students with Intellectual Disabilities (ID) on a college campus, with broader theoretical connections related to disability identity and day to day practice that impacts access to higher education. This intersection, presented as a nexus of “visionary pragmatism” in the words of Patricia Hill Collins (1996) represents a coming together of theory/vision and the practical strategies that students with “unruly body/minds” must use to navigate the world on their own terms. Using thematic and poetic analysis of person centered planning documents and student interviews, the research circle (consisting of students, faculty, community members and program staff) sought to answer two research questions: 1) what do students with ID consider personal growth as it relates to being in college, and 2) how do students perceive the supports needed to achieve their desired goals. The community engaged approach encouraged power sharing within the research circle, including students with ID as co-researchers in collective data collection and analysis, and as peer interviewers. In alignment with Universal Design and feedback from scholars with ID regarding accessible formatting, literature, discussion and analysis are presented in a multimodal format that includes graphics and poetry. Themes from the data reflect perceptions of college as a path to self-realization and self-determination (critical consciousness), valued roles, careers and financial stability, interdependence, social justice and inclusion.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Access, College, Community engaged research, Higher education, Intellectual disability, Poetic analysis
People with mental disabilities $x Education (Higher)
Learning disabled $x Education (Higher)
College students with disabilities

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