Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Kucharczyk, Suzanne

Committee Member/Reader

Speight, Renee


Between the ages of 18-21 years old, youth and young adults make the transition from pediatric to adult health care. While it may be an easy and seamless transition for some, that is not always the case, especially for youth and young adults with disabilities. Youth with disabilities experience several distinct health disparities compared to their peers without disabilities and these can be carried over to impact their health care transition (HCT) process. The purpose of this study was to learn more about the HCT experiences of young adults with disabilities and their families to learn and develop ways that health care providers, post-secondary programs, Universities, and parents can help better prepare young adults for this transition in the future. Participant requirements for our study were to be a college aged student with intellectual disabilities in a post-secondary inclusive program at a University, a post-secondary inclusive program peer mentor, or a parent to a child in the University program. We interviewed 11 students with disabilities, 6 of their parents, and 6 of their peer mentors. Through semi-structure interviews and distributing a Got Transition survey that analyzed health skills and knowledge, we discovered that students with disabilities and mentors had common experiences related to HCT, convenience was an important component in health experiences, and families and students had varied approaches to decision making and self-determination in those decisions based on specific health needs, family dynamics, and expectations for ability to make decisions. We also found that all University students had a gap in knowledge necessary to be full consumers of the health care system, COVID-19 related anxieties were felt by all, and there is a need for additional resources and improved multidisciplinary cooperation in order to facilitate a more seamless health care transition for youth and young adults with disabilities.


health, health care transition, students with disabilities, intellectual disabilities, COVID-19