School of Health and Human Sciences

Exploring Inclusion of College Students With IDD in Campus Recreation Through the Lens of Recreation Departments’ Organizational Level Stakeholders

Lindsey Oakes, PhD, Tracy R. Nichols, PhD, Stuart J. Schleien, Robert Strack, PhD, Jeffrey Millroy, PhD

Participation in recreation can produce health benefits for all college students and open pathways to inclusion for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (IDD). Despite the growing number of college students with IDD on over 260 college campuses across the United States, there is a dearth of literature exploring their inclusion within campus recreation. This study examined how organizational culture of campus recreation departments and inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) programs support and inhibit inclusion of college students with IDD. A constructivist qualitative case study design, which was instrumental and collective, was used with two universities in the Eastern Time Zone and one university in the Central Time Zone of the United States. A document review and individual interviews with administrative and frontline staff were conducted with each campus recreation department. An iterative and comparative process of analysis was utilized and included the use of poetic analysis. The results of this study revealed a critical need to assess and examine the inclusion of these students within campus life at large.