Program Profile

Feature Issue on Inclusive Higher Education for People with Intellectual, Developmental, and Other Disabilities

The Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education
Research, Policy, and Practice for the Field


Beth Myers, executive director of the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education at Syracuse University in New York, founded the Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education. She may be reached at

Two female Inclusive U students at Syracuse University stand together, one with an arm around the other. One student with brown hair and bangs wears a red handkerchief and an identification badge around her neck. The other student, her hair in braids and a headband, smiles slightly as she leans in for a picture. They are both wearing blue Inclusive U shirts.

The growth of programs such as Inclusive U at Syracuse University prompted the creation of JIPE.

The rapid growth of inclusive higher education has produced exciting developments in the field, such as state and regional consortia, an accreditation movement, expanded opportunities for students, and an explosion of research. Responding to a need for scholarly discussion space, the Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education (JIPE) was launched in 2019 as the first journal in the field of higher education for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). As such, it was a natural outgrowth the State of the Art Conference in Inclusive Higher Education, an annual meeting cohosted by George Mason University’s Keller Center and Syracuse University’s Taishoff Center for more than a decade. The conference, which began in 2009 as The State of the Science sponsored by NIDRR, has been an important part of the growth of the field. It is an annual gathering for researchers, practitioners, administrators, families, and others to consider the trajectory of development and needs of inclusive higher education. In 2017, the State of the Art Conference expanded to add a co-occurring Student Leadership Conference, the first dedicated national gathering by and for college students with IDD to collaborate on college experiences and advocacy. Together, the State of the Art and Student Leadership Conferences hosted more than 500 people in an online format in the fall of 2021.

These conferences have presented a decade of research and practical knowledge in the field of inclusive higher education and recognized a need for a journal dedicated to this work. JIPE was formed to publish original research, accepting qualitative, quantitative, single-subject, and mixed methods studies on topics relevant to inclusive higher education. The editorial board is comprised of leading researchers and led by Editors in Chief Heidi Graff (George Mason University), Beth Myers (Syracuse), and Clare Papay (University of Massachusetts Boston), supported by Managing Editor Linda Mason (George Mason). JIPE is published by Mason Publishing Group. The journal publishes diverse research documenting the growth of the field, influential program development, and higher ed practices. Topics in the journal are wide-ranging and include academic supports and accommodations, policy, health and daily living, assessment, families, employment, program development, peers, research, faculty, and graduates.

In 2021, after more than a year of discussion and planning, the JIPE editorial board put forth its first issue, in which all articles included a plain language summary (PLS) for increased accessibility. The inclusion of plain language summaries allows for the complex ideas of research writing to be shared with a wider audience, reducing barriers to technical and academic writing. Following principles of universal design, summaries can be critical for some users of the journal and can make academic articles more readable for everyone. PLS are frequently overlooked, even in many journals specifically about intellectual disability or reading access (Myers & Martin, 2021).

In its author guidelines, the JIPE editorial board offers several suggestions for crafting a PLS. A strong PLS should be accessible to a wide range of audiences and have a simple title. It should be written casually and directly, with organized information that describes the most important points of the article. Each PLS in the journal is designed to avoid jargon, specialized terms, and obscure language and has a limited word count to make it easily scannable. An editorial board member, Kenneth Kelty, reviews each PLS submission for readability and accessibility. An individual with intellectual disability (ID), Kelty is also a graduate of a postsecondary education program. As Bredbenner and Simon (2019) point out, summaries can support not only reader comprehension, but also enjoyment. At JIPE, the editorial team is committed to increased access and equity for all people and believes that ethical research is committed to community access.

Over the last three years, JIPE has published six issues of the journal, with all articles undergoing a rigorous peer review and revision process. Author guidelines are available on the JIPE website . As we move forward into future research, JIPE calls for a wide range of research on innovative practices, policy, and perspectives in inclusive higher education. In the next year, the editorial board is planning a special issue focused on research methodologies in inclusive postsecondary work. A strong research base is critical for the progression of the field, and the Journal supports this growing foundation of inquiry.

InclusiveU 2020 | In this video , author Myers, founder of the Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education, shares details about InclusiveU at Syracuse University, where Myers serves as executive director.


Bredbenner, K., & Simon, S. M. (2019). Video abstracts and plain language summaries are more effective than graphical abstracts and published abstracts. PLOS ONE, 14(11), e0224697.

Myers, B., & Martin, T. (2021). Why Plain Language? Linguistic Accessibility in Inclusive Higher Education. Journal of Inclusive Postsecondary Education, 3(1).