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Intellectual Disability and Postsecondary Education

An intellectual disability (ID) is characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills originating prior to the age of 18. This definition and the term ID designates the population of people who were previously diagnosed as having mental retardation. That term has been replaced both colloquially and in legislation with the term ID.

Educational opportunities for people diagnosed with ID have changed over the past 40 years. Since the 1970s, students with ID have been provided life skills training, employment training, and, many times, have been educated in academic settings alongside peers without disabilities. These changes, in concert with advocacy efforts and amendments to legislation, resulted in many students with ID, and their ...

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