Category Archives: Intellecutal Disabilities

Student Aims to “Climb High” to Raise Funds for Scholarship

A Utah State University student who is  enrolled in “Aggies Elevated”, a progam for students with intellectual disabilities, plans to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro this summer to raise funds that would allow a student to enroll in the program.

According to the Herald Journal,

Troy Shumway, 20, is set to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in June 2015, USU announced in a news release. The fundraising goal, $40,000, is the amount it costs to fund one Aggies Elevated student, covering academic and social supports including mentors, tutors and staff.

For his fundraiser, Troy has set several creative donation levels, including a $19 donation because Mt. Kilimanjaro is more than 19,000 feet high, or $98 because Mt. Kilimanjaro is more than 9,800 miles from his hometown of San Diego.

In a prepared statement, Troy explained that he wants to offer another student the opportunities he is getting through Aggies Elevated.

“It would be great to have other kids with disabilities be able to come to college and learn to be more independent, like I did,” Troy said.

Read more here.

See Troy’s donation page here.

 

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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.

 

“STEP” Provides College Opportunities for Students with Disabilities

Another college, in Massachussetts, on board with providing transition opportunities for students with disabilities!

The Norton program, known as STEP, serves students with intellectual disabilities who are involved with three programs at Bridgewater [State University], STEP program teacher Ashley Rodrigues said.

While all of the programs are geared toward students with intellectual disabilities, the Transitions at Bridgewater and Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment programs are both designed for high school students between the ages of 18 and 22 who have been unable to pass the MCAS tests, Rodrigues said.

Transitions at Bridgewater offers students weekly workshops covering topics such as money management, social skills, campus and social media safety and interview skills.

The Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program gives students an opportunity to audit a course and experience college life, including spending time with college students.

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.

University of Rochester Provides Transition Support

The University of Rochester has implemented a support system to aid students with disabilities to access the college experience.

Transition Opportunities at UR (TOUR) looks to help integrate disabled students into a the college environment. Similar programs have been developed on campuses across the country to promote increased involvement and participation.

The philosophy of the TOUR program is to give students with disabilities additional support and resources that they need to succeed.

“I started to research into how I could help students with disabilities to have the opportunity to have the college experience as a more open and accessible option to them,” Warner School of Education graduate and Director of TOUR Catherine Branch Lewis said. “We all have the opportunity to change the world, and I think anyone and everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from everything that is offered here at the U of R.”

The Warner School is a recipient of the Transition Post-Secondary Program for students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) grant. This is a federally-funded grant that has aided the TOUR program evolve from “an excellent and segregated program to an excellent and inclusive program,” Lewis said.

Read the article 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.

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.

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.

Unified Sports Program Provides Skills for Life

A new program in Utah, the Unified Sports Program, is helping students with intellectual disabilities develop skills that will lead to better employment and and independent living (Deseret News, May 3, 2014).

Special Olympics Utah and the Utah High School Activities Association partnered to initiate the [Unified Sports] program in Utah this year, assisting schools in ensuring that students with disabilities have access to extracurricular sports — a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in January 2013.

Intellectually disabled students are apparently five times as likely to be employed after high school if they have actively participated in Special Olympics activities, said Special Olympics CEO Amy Hansen, who called it a “landmark opportunity” for the students. She said the disabled participants also live an average of five years longer when they’ve had the interactive experience.

“It helps them learn life skills that empower them throughout their lives,” Hansen said.

Read the article here.