An Indiana University program for students with intellectual disabilities is providing opportunities to experience college life and develop employment skills.
Central Indiana’s Franklin College is welcoming five high school students with intellectual disabilities to its campus this semester, thanks in part to a grant from Indiana University’s Institute on Disability and Community and its Center on Community Living and Careers.
The institute, a partner in the Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition, creates programs on Indiana campuses that give students with intellectual disabilities a chance to participate in college life and obtain hands-on work experience before they begin applying for jobs in their communities.
This month, students participating in Franklin’s new INSPIRE program took part in a meet-and-greet activity on campus that served to formally introduce INSPIRE — which stands for Individual Needs in Special Places to Increase Relevant Work Experience — to Franklin College faculty, staff and fellow students.
“INSPIRE will help us get experience to get a job and help us take care of ourselves for the rest of our lives,” said Richie Olopade, a student from Center Grove High School.