START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Opportunities for College for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Opportunities for College for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Think College is an organization that looks for college opportunities for people with cognitive and other developmental disabilities.  it has been a long time coming but there is finally a way for more students with non traditional ways of learning to be able to attend and succeed in college.

It has been found in a national study and reported by Education Weekly that six years out of high school, a student with a disability is less likely to have attended college than his or her non-disabled counterpart.  55% of student with disabilities attend some sort of college as compared to 62% of non-disabled peers.  This statistic includes all forms of disabilities, physical and learning as well as cognitive impairments.

Even among those students with milder (and this term is relative) forms of impairments like dyslexia and ADHD have limited options in terms of really good programs at better schools.  Among these are the SALT program at University of Arizona, USC’s Learning Services and the many community colleges in California who are required to have a program for students with disabilities.  It is a federal law (The Americans with Disabilities Act) that a student with a documented disability have access to open education and accommodations for that disability.

However, we now have new programs specific to those students with intellectual disabilities like Down’s syndrome, lowered intellectual functioning and other developmental disabilities. In the past ten years, parents groups and the students themselves have asked for and gotten new programs to allow them educational and social success.  Also, changes in federal law have increased expectations of such students in elementary and secondary school.

Pathway at the UCLA extension, Vanderbilt’s Next Steps program and George Mason of Mason LIFE (Learning Into Future Environments) have welcomed students with disabilities into their programs, and Vanderbilt graduated its first class last month.  These programs are usually two years and teach social skills, life skills and allows students to attend university-level courses or work on vocational certificates.

Previously, the options open to these students were to stay in high school until they were 21, live with family members or in group homes, or work at a center in jobs that paid less than minimum wage, usually alongside other people with disabilities.  The college programs listed above along with a few others in South Carolina, California and a couple of other states allow students to live independently, hold jobs, continue their education or hold an internship.

Think College is coordinating and studying 27 programs in 23 states that were awarded five-year grants by the federal Education Department.  They  will recommend ways programs can be accredited and what kinds of certificates graduates should be awarded to students in these programs

Any program that allows educational and social access to those who want it is doing it right.  It will be interesting to see what certificates will be awarded and how many more people will become productive members of society.

 

Related Stories:

Professor Tells Student With Stutter He’s Disruptive

College Options For Students With Disabilities

Fraud and Abuse Are Routine In Care of Disabled in New York

 

Read more: , , , ,

Photo credit: kmoliver

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

31 comments

+ add your own
7:49PM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Thanks for the post.

12:27AM PST on Dec 23, 2011

Thanks for the article.

7:21PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

A high school diploma is accessible to most people who can sit in a chair for four years.

7:17PM PST on Dec 20, 2011

College already is accessible to anyone with a high school diploma or GED and enough money.

Some colleges like Shepherd University demand more because they can pick and choose from a plethora of high-SAT and high-ACT kids, or at least their average SATs and ACTs reflect the socioeconomic status of places like Fairfax County VA and Montgomery County MD, not Putnam County WV or Lawrence County OH.

10:51AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

This is a questionable concept at best , which up holds all of the myths and ignorance already rapid in the education system ! All Colleges and Universities should be accessible to any individual with the desire to learn. It is encouraging to see recognition of the disabled however, I feel that put the disabled in a clearly label box is a step backward.

2:44AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

Thank you for sharing

9:03PM PST on Dec 19, 2011

Thanks.

7:53PM PST on Dec 19, 2011

thanks

11:34AM PST on Dec 19, 2011

hmmmm...tha's great...i guess !!!

10:26AM PST on Dec 19, 2011

Life skill prorammes are an excellent way forward.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

I agree, Gayle J.

it is time to bam plastic bags. they are so harmful for the enviroment.

meet our writers

Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
ads keep care2 free

more from causes




Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.