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Various international reports over several decades present a less‐than‐favorable educational experience for students with disabilities. The continued failure of policy to address the factors that influence a quality education is contrary to the goals of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with a Disability. Research has found that quality‐of‐life domains have a close relationship to the articles contained in the Convention, one of which has a specific focus on education. Analyzing education from the perspective of quality of life may serve as an agent to effect needed change for students with disabilities. In this paper, we explore quality of life in the context of education for students with intellectual disabilities and conceptualize a new substrand of quality of life: EQOL—educational quality of life. A study of how family quality of life emerged from quality of life provides a way to rationalize the development of EQOL. Simultaneously a study of the literature related to the human experience and influences on school experience helped develop and support the conceptualization of EQOL. Our model is a multidimensional social construct underpinned by five principles, five domains, and related indicators. We propose this model as the basis for further research which will be needed to verify the structure before its use for measurement and as an agent of change. Understanding the influences on EQOL and the relationship between these influences can shape research design, policy development, and well‐being measures for all students. The resulting information can provide educational authorities, communities, teachers, and parents with the knowledge to priorities interventions and determine the effectiveness of these interventions on the school experience of students with a disability.


School of Education

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Journal Article

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