Crossing the higher educational divide for people with intellectual disability

In this paper university life for people with intellectual disability will be described across international boundaries, with a particular emphasis on the model of inclusion at the University of Sydney. How the latter model was developed, researched and implemented will be included in the presentation followed by a critique of positive and challenging outcomes reported by universities that have opened their doors to students with intellectual disability. The student voice and that of lecturing staff will be digitally heard within the presentation exemplifying how unity in diversity has enabled students to self-actualize, through increasing their responsibilities and autonomy as adult learners. In keeping with the philosophy of the Maria Grzegorzewska University it will be argued that inclusion at the higher education level means a “good university for all”. Within the presentation the work of the Inclusive Research Network (IRN) at the Centre for Disability Studies will illustrate how in real life both co-design and co-researching between people with intellectual disabilities and people without can add to the concept of both building unity across diversity and crossing the divide.

Prof. Patricia Patricia O’Brien

A professor at the Center for Disability Research and Policy at the University of Sydney, he conducts research in qualitative social research, social theory and developmental psychology. The author of the publication 'Consensus statement on inclusive health research' 'Consensus statement on inclusive health research'. At Trinity College, she was the director of the Foundation, the National Institute for Intellectual Disability, which supported the mission of integration through education, research and advocacy. She carried out grants that focused on inclusive research involving people with disabilities and family members. Before starting work in Ireland, she worked at the University of Auckland, where she was a lecturer in postgraduate and postgraduate studies in the field of services for people and special education. Co-editor of two publications promoting services for people with disabilities as value-oriented and person-centered organizations.