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Further up the hill – 20 years of inclusion of people with intellectual disability at university: where to next?

Project Details

Funding partner

Flinders University Early Career Researcher Impact Seed Grants


Sep 2019 – Aug 2020


Gobec, C., Rillotta, F., & Raghavendra, P. (2022). Where to next? Experiences of adults with intellectual disability after they complete a university program. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities DOI:10.1111/jar.13000

Rillotta, F., Gobec, C., & Gibson-Pope, C. (2022). Experiences of Mentoring University Students with an Intellectual Disability as Part of a Practicum Placement. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning DOI:10.1080/13611267.2022.2070991


DCI researchers


This grant was used to amplify research about inclusion of people with intellectual disability at university and to accelerate progress in an existing body of research work. Our research found that Up the Hill Project (UTHP) participants experienced enhanced self-confidence/social connections, sense of belonging and feeling valued as a university student in a community that traditionally did not include them (Rillotta et al., 2018). The Further Up the Hill body of research includes not only the perspectives of the UTHP participants about their experiences while they are at Flinders University, but also about when they have completed (e.g. employment outcomes). It also recognises the importance of hearing the perspectives of mentors and university staff, who play an important role in ensuring success. Initial research work was small scale, exploratory and descriptive. The Further Up the Hill research provided an opportunity to explore more rigorous methodology and theoretical frameworks, including co-design of the next steps with a person with lived experience of intellectual disability. The advisor with intellectual disability helped to ensure the research processes were accessible and applicable to people with intellectual disability.


Applied research directly influencing continuous improvement and development of the Up the Hill Project and other similar programs.

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