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Title: Experiences in post-secondary and higher education : a hermeneutic interpretation of the narratives of people with intellectual disability
Author: Corby, Deirdre Mary
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 360X
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2016
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Background: Education has been identified as a fundamental human right. Inclusion in post-secondary and higher education for people with intellectual disability is linked to increased opportunities and improved quality of life. Aim: This research aimed to explore the lived experiences and investigate the meaning(s) that people with intellectual disability construct of their experience in post-secondary and higher education in the Republic of Ireland. Method: Study participants were 27 people between the ages of 21 and 57 who attended post-secondary or higher level courses. Participants' narratives of their expenences were captured Via audio-taped interviewing, and then transcribed following the interpretive process in Heideggerian hermeneutic phenomenology. This involved adapting Crist and Tanner's (2003) five stages of analysis supplemented by the four steps recommended in the Listening Guide (Gilligan et al. 2003). These steps included creating I-Poems from the interviews, which offered a unique opportunity for the voices of participants to be heard during interpretation and dissemination. Findings: Led by Heidegger's philosophy of identifying those things that need to be thought about, the findings highlight the transformational role of education. Participants experienced going to post-secondary or higher education as valuable and positive. They described the experience by detailing opportunities in areas such as improving literacy and learning new skills. Their experiences were interpreted as creating conditions that increased their independence, self-worth and self-belief. The meanings drawn from the experience reflect an understanding of the benefits of inclusion, but also highlight the emerging realities of the limitations caused by having an intellectual disability and being dependent on services for support. Conclusion: The methodology used has resulted in a unique method of interpretation which gives a greater insight into the experiences of people with intellectual disability. Recommendations for research, practice and policy contribute to addressing the deficits in supporting people with intellectual disability in postsecondary or higher education.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available