Innovative Practices 2013 on Employment

Post-secondary inclusion: a path to employment

The initiative develops inclusive post-secondary education opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities, not least as an increasingly necessary precursor to obtaining meaningful employment.

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Canada – Alberta Association for Community Living (AACL)
Organisation:Post-secondary inclusion: a path to employment
of origin


  • Almost 25 years of demonstrated success
  • Commitment from multiple government departments
  • Demonstrated successful partnership between a family advocacy organisation, post-secondary institutions and government
  • 18 universities, colleges and technical institutes
  • Close to 100 students currently enrolled in a vast array of faculties, departments and courses
  • 70% successful employment
  • Students include those with severe and multiple disabilities including complex challenges
  • Students supported in class by non-disabled peers
  • Students demonstrate abilities far beyond typical perceptions of capabilities of adults with developmental disabilities
  • Gains in knowledge, friendship, careers
  • Post-secondary faculty extremely supportive
  • Very high cost-benefit ratio
  • Includes urban/rural, large/small, secular/faith based institutions


While the rest of world recognises the importance and even the necessity of a post-secondary education to success in employment and life in general, adults with developmental disabilities are denied access to this normative and valued pathway to employment and career opportunities.

Inclusive post-secondary education (IPSE) has a proven track record, resulting in vastly superior rates of employment for adults with developmental disabilities in a broad array of jobs and careers with less dependency on human services. IPSE challenges the assumptions many hold with respect to what is possible for adults with developmental disabilities to achieve. It raises the challenge – if quality inclusion can be achieved within elite academic institutions, it should be possible in almost every dimension of community life. The array of courses, faculties, and departments continues to grow and expand each year to the point where the possible limits to inclusion seem unreachable.


The approach to IPSE developed by Uditsky and Hughson with AACL has spread to almost every region of Canada,
and to Australia and Ireland.



Bruce Uditsky
Chief Executive Officer
Alberta Association for Community Living
11724 Kingsway Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5G 0X5
Phone: +1 780 451 3055

Anne Hughson
Director and Associate Professor
Community Rehabilitation & Disability Studies
University Of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4Z6
Phone: +1 403 220 6273

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