Creating Our Own Lives

Creating Our Own Lives

Young adults with intellectual disability tell the story of their own experience of higher education

How do students with intellectual disability experience higher education? Creating Our Own Lives addresses this question through the eyes of participants themselves. In relating their experiences and aspirations, these student perspectives mount a powerful challenge to assumptions that intellectual disability is best met with protection or segregation.

Taken together, the essays expose and contradict the inherently ableist claim that individuals with intellectual disability cannot be reliable storytellers. Instead, their deeply informative stories serve as a corrective narrative. The first of the four sections, "Laying the Foundation: Why Everyone Belongs in College," focuses on belonging and inclusion; the second, "Opening Up Possibilities: Overcoming Doubt and Uncertainty," conveys the optimism of this generation of advocates through stories of personal hardship, hopeful perseverance, and triumph over adversity; the third, "Inclusion as Action: Diversifying Student Experiences," supports the understanding of diverse student experiences in inclusive higher education; and the fourth, "Supporting Growth: Peer Mentoring and Advice," offers guidance to those reimagining and creating educational spaces.

Students with disabilities belong in higher education. Not only does this book serve as an important record of students enrolled in inclusive higher education programs, it is also an unprecedented resource, packed with information and inspiration both for parents seeking opportunities for their children and for individuals with intellectual disability who aspire to attend college.

Contributors: Makayla Adkins, Olivia Baist, Brandon Baldwin, George Barham, Marquavious Barnes, Katie Bartlett, Steven Brief, De'Onte Brown, Meghan Brozaitis, Mary Bryant, Gracie Carrol, Taylor Cathey, Maia Chamberlain, Antonio E. Contreras, Kim Dean, Elizabeth Droessler, Katie Ducett, Keiron Dyck, Rachel Gomez, Deriq Graves, Micah Gray, Maggie Guillaume, Cleo Hamilton, Nathan Heald, Joshua R. Hourigan, Hannah Lenae Humes, Courtney Jorgensen, Eilish Kelderman, Kailin Kelderman, Kenneth Kelty, Kaelan Knowles, Karlee Lambert, Kate Lisotta, Rachel Mast, Elise McDaniel, Emma Miller, Jake Miller, Lydia Newnum, Brenna Mantz Nielsen, Carly O'Connell, Nadia Osbey, Stirling Peebles, Breyan Pettaway, Amanda Pilkenton, True Rafferty, Taylor Ruppe, Lawrence Sapp, Tyler Shore, Brianna Silva, Alex Smith, Elliott Smith, Phillandra Smith, Payton Storms, Allen Thomas, Kylie Walter, Stephen Wanser, Sayid Webb, Breana Whittlesey, Luke Wilcox, Adam Wolfond.

Publication Date: 
October 10, 2023