Designing a Continuum of Best Practices for the Inclusion of Students with Intellectual Disabilities in Higher Education

Project Summary

Informed by, and conducted with, people with lived experience of intellectual disability, this study will analyse the current approaches and benefits of the only two Australian programs which include young people with intellectual disability in higher education.


While some advocates do exist at a local level, unfortunately the inclusion of people with intellectual disability in higher education is not being addressed at a national policy level. By collating evidence on the Australian experience for the first time, and contextualising this national evidence within the wider international experience, this project will establish how Australia can progress national policy, and will inform implementation of higher-level education opportunities for people with intellectual disability.


Our project follows the lead of North American and European examples of networks of inclusive programs pooling together knowledge, evidence, and experience to develop national evidence-based programs of inclusion.

Project Team

Dr Nikki Wedgwood (Lead Investigator) – Senior Lecturer, Participation Sciences, School of Health Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney 


Associate Prof Mary-Ann O’Donovan – Executive Director, Centre for Disability Studies, School of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney 


Dr Fiona Rillotta – Senior Lecturer, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University