Category Archives: Developmental Disabilities

Celebrate World Down Syndrome Day

Today marks the 10th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. There are many ways people can celebrate and share stories and videos.  The website has multiple resources to help celebrate diversity and inclusion.

21 March 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder.

Down Syndrome International encourages our friends all over the world to choose your own activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities. We will share your WDSD World Events on our dedicated WDSD website in a single global meeting place.

For WDSD 2015, DSi will focus on:

‘My Opportunities, My Choices’ – Enjoying Full and Equal Rights and the Role of Families

Learn more here.

If you have a facebook page, go to this story about how a woman’s 5-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome inspired her to open a bakery to employ people with DS and other special needs.

Postsecondary Education Linked to Higher Employment Rates

An increasing number of postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities are being created and implemented across the United States……with evidence of successful outcomes, according to a recent study.

Individuals with intellectual disabilities who attend postsecondary programs are finding greater success in the job market than those who do not pursue further education, a new study suggests.

Graduates of postsecondary programs reported higher rates of employment since completing high school, according to findings published online this month in the Journal of Intellectual Disabilities. The research offers support for a growing number of programs at colleges and universities specifically geared toward young adults with developmental disabilities.

Read the article here.

 

Rethinking College: The Film

Rethinking College” is a film that promotes providing opportunities for experiencing college for students with disabilities.

Rethinking College is a 25 minute film produced by Think College that explores the growing movement to include students with intellectual disabilities in higher education.

Through the perspectives of parents, educators, advocates, policy leaders, and most importantly, students, this film illustrates how colleges and universities can provide a setting for all students to grow, learn and build toward better futures

Learn more here.

Washington Non-Profit Provides Transition Services to Community

A non-profit organization in Washington is filling a Transition niche for students with intellectual disabilities that also benefits the wider community.

Making the transition from school to the workplace can be hard for anyone. But for individuals living with intellectual disabilities, the shift can be especially difficult. To help ease the transition from student to employee, Morningside, a local non-profit specializing in disability services, provides three different programs designed to help special education students find the career path that’s right for them – before they even graduate.

Read about the three programs, Transition Program, Project Search and Work Experience Project here.

“Jobs by June” Program Yielding Success for Transition Students

 

A transition program in Washington state is providing opportunities for students with disabilities in their transition years after high school with great success.

When it comes to school-to-work programs, Mike Etzell and Diane Fesler have a unique perspective.

Etzell and Fesler both work with students ages 18 to 21 with developmental disabilities, helping them to transition into the workforce.

“We’re investing in all of those students going to school, and why would we stop after kids with special needs graduate?” Etzell said.

Etzell and Fesler work with community partners to give jobs or internships to their students to help get them slowly acclimated to post-high school life during those transition years. Sometimes their students can work as little as two hours a week at a job, learning how to adjust to the adult world, with job coaches who help them through the adjustment.

Their mantra is “Jobs by June,” and they plan to work with their students throughout the year to get them ready for that.

Read more here.

Ohio Summer Program Focuses on Employment for Students with Disabilities

An Ohio organization that provides support to people with developmental disabilities, The Employment Connection (TEC), held a summer camp for high school students to help prepare them for work.

TEC recently wrapped up its summer program in which a group of high school students with developmental disabilities was able to participate in the Summer Youth Employment Program.

According to TEC, summer youth work experiences are utilized to help teach high school students vocational skills and appropriate work behaviors through career exploration and work experiences. The goal of the program is to prepare the individual for permanent employment and independence.

TEC offered a five-week program for these young men and women during the summer to teach them work skills and to help them develop a work history.

Ohio Program Provides Bridge to Employment

An Ohio organization has created a 6 week program called “Bridges” that provides a sampling of employment experiences for young people with developmental disabilities.

The Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD) Bridges program held a graduation ceremony for 10 participants of the six-week program on July 25 at the Vocation Station.

Bridges assists under-served areas of the state in developing employment services for youth with developmental disabilities as they transition from school to employment. The students participate in job shadowing, job coaching and a variety of educational opportunities to help them achieve their employment goals.

The overall goal of the project is to enhance career exploration options and increase employment outcomes by developing a collaborative network of services that will assist students in achieving their employment goals.

Read the article here.

Aggies Elevated Program Accepts Students Into First Cohort

A new program for students with developmental and intellectual disabilities at Utah State University,  Aggies Elevated,  has accepted its first cohort for the Fall of 2014.

The Aggies Elevated program was created with young adult learners in mind by experts in the fields of disability and special education at USU’s Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.

Our supportive and inclusive environment is close to home, yet far enough away to give young adults with intellectual or other disabilities the opportunity to learn and grow while participating in all the activities that a traditional residential campus has to offer.

Students in the new program will develop academic and independent living skills and will engage in career exploration, work internship, vocational electives, and personal growth through coursework tailored to each individual. Part of each student’s plan will also include  community-based work internships.

Add Huntington University to the list of growing partners to Think College!

The Think College! movement continues to grow[embed.  Huntington University in Indiana is joining the initiative.

Huntington University is partnering with the Huntington County Community School Corporation (HCCSC) to give students with intellectual disabilities a chance to participate in college life and to obtain hands-on work experience before they transition full time into their communities.

Huntington University’s Think College program, called “ABLE” (Achieving Balance in Life Through Education) will welcome six high school students to campus this fall.

“One of the hallmarks of a residential college is that students learn from each other there,” said Dr. Del Doughty, interim vice president for academic affairs at HU. “By adding the students of Think College to our campus, we will fulfill that expectation in a new way and at a deeper level, perhaps, than we ever have before.”

The Indiana Partnership for Post-Secondary Education and Careers, through Indiana University, has created the program on various Indiana campuses through the support of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community. This is the fourth campus in the state to house the program.

Read more here.

Film Highlights the Importance of Employment

The ARC of Monmouth (New Jersey) has created a film called “Believe And You Can Achieve” about the importance of employment for people with developmental disabilities.  This professionally made film stars the young adults being featured in the film and features their support teams who highlight the successes of their employment.