Topic Area

Transition, Inclusive Postsecondary Education, and Self Determination

Chair: Eric Folk, Center on Disability Studies at UH Mānoa

Co-Chair: Dr. Cindi May, College of Charleston

Sunrise in the distance with a walking path.


The goals of improving inclusion and life outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in education, employment, and community participation contexts has been a primary focus of countless funding initiatives and research efforts. The Transition, Inclusive Postsecondary Education, and Self Determination focus area for the 2021 Pacific Rim Conference welcomes proposals that address the theme of Transition; especially as related to self determination, postsecondary education, and employment for persons with disabilities or other support needs.

Of particular interest are proposals related to inclusive postsecondary education (iPSE) efforts at colleges and universities that focus on self determination, employment preparation, and authentic participation in inclusive college courses. While iPSE programs have been around for some time, the recent increase in these programs provides us with a unique opportunity to assess what is and is not working within iPSE for adults with IDD. In 2021, students who participated in the first round of USDOE-funded Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) are approaching or have passed the age of thirty. These students were the beneficiaries of unprecedented levels of support, education, and postsecondary program availability and capacity. How are they doing? 

We extend a special invitation to past and current TPSID grantees in recognition of a decade of important iPSE research, program development, and service delivery.

Guiding Questions

  • What is and isn’t working in employment preparation for persons with disabilities?
  • What is the emerging evidence concerning the efficacy of iPSE efforts to impact life outcomes for persons with ID/DD?
  • To what degree do students with ID/DD and their families believe that iPSE programs are actually inclusive?
  • To what degree do iPSE programs meet the national standards for inclusivity?
  • Has secondary inclusion, education, and preparation for students with ID/DD changed as a result of the increased prevalence and capacity of iPSE programs?
  • What is the evidence regarding the best ways to prepare students for iPSE?
  • How have adult support agencies and community rehabilitation providers reacted and or adapted to the increased prevalence of iPSE offerings?