Impact Published by the Institute on Community Integration (UCEDD) & Research and Training Center on Community Living Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities Volume 23 · Number 3 · Autumn/Winter 2010/11 From the Editors Postsecondary education is a primary goal for the majority of high school students with transition plans, according to the National Longitudinal Transition Study–2. However, according to that same study, only about 3 in 10 young adults with disabilities have taken postsecondary education classes since high school. And among those with the lowest rates of participation are students with intellectual disabilities. This Impact issue explores what we know, and what we still need to know, about what works to support increased participation of students with disabilities, especially those with intellectual disabilities, in postsecondary education and why that participation is important. It includes stories about students with disabilities succeeding in Micah Fialka-Feldman on his first day of living in the dorm at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. See story below. higher education, strategies for families and school personnel to use in supporting planning What’s a Parent to Do? Micah’s College Dream for postsecondary education during high school, research findings and historical overviews on our by Janice Fialka national journey to support full participation in all areas of life – including education – for My father proudly graduated from the University of Michigan in 1948, the first in his family of 11 children. Little did he know he established a generational pattern for the individuals with intellectual and other disabilities, important men in my life. My two brothers, several cousins, and my husband all claim and explanations of the education laws that can the same “maize-and-blue.” At the age of 5, our son, Micah, attended his first U of M undergird that participation. It’s our hope that football game and was immediately awestruck by the “Go Blue!” spirit. I sensed he felt readers of this issue will find new ways of thinking destined to follow in the footsteps of his Papa, father, and uncles. He didn’t have the about the role of post-high-school education in words to express this dream – words did not come easily to him then – but his dream the lives of young people with disabilities, and was deepened with every U of M game he attended. We as parents wanted both our children, Micah and Emma, to have dreams. about the benefits to those young people as well Dreams motivate our spirit, drive us forward, stretch us in new directions, and compel as our communities and nation. us to try new things. We wanted our children to gradually feel the pull of passion and purpose. But what if their dreams are met with words like “unrealistic,” “impossible,” What’s Inside “out of reach,” “can’t do that,” “unheard of,” or simply “Why would he do THAT…..?” Overviews Those were some of the very words we heard when Micah talked about his college How-To Articles dream. “Look at the facts,” we were told, even by well-meaning people who cared Personal Profiles about Micah. Fact # 1: Micah has a cognitive impairment with a low I.Q. score. Fact #2: Resources Micah didn’t read or write (though he could sign his name after years of practice.) Fact #3: There were no fully inclusive college programs in our community. Fact #4: Youth like Micah, with an IEP, go to community-based programs after high school, not col- lege! What’s a parent to do? [Fialka, continued on page 24] 2 Overview Students with Disabilities in Higher Education: Participating in America’s Future by David R. Johnson and Derek Nord Ensuring that high school students public and private vocational training There is also growing concern regard- with disabilities have access to and programs, has intensified for both stu- ing student persistence and the success- can fully participate in postsecondary dents with and without disabilities. ful completion of programs of study for education has been identified as one of Policies related to transition plan- those who do enroll in postsecondary key challenges in the future of second- ning have been put in place to support education. Access is only a first step ary education and transition for such students with disabilities in achieving in a larger challenge of persisting and students (Luecking & Gramlich, 2003). postsecondary education and other succeeding within the postsecondary As the American economy becomes post-high-school goals. The Individuals education environment, completing increasingly more knowledge-based, with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 a program of study and graduating, attaining a postsecondary education (IDEA) amendments specifically draw and, ultimately, achieving meaning- is more critical than ever (Carnevale & attention to postsecondary education ful employment following program Desrochers, 2003). Projections for the as one of several critically important completion. Because of the high stakes post-school goals for youth with dis- involved, exploring the conditions that abilities that needs to be addressed in contribute to postsecondary success and Postsecondary education is a the young person’s IEP/Transition meet- persistence has been a focus of educa- ings. The National Longitudinal Transi- tional psychology research for the past primary goal for more than tion Study–2 (NLTS2) has found that three decades. Some researchers have postsecondary education is a primary noted as students are actively engaged four out of five secondary school high school goal for more than four out in learning, they are more likely to of five secondary school students with participate in college (Gardner, 1998), students with transition plans. transition plans (Cameto, Levine & whereas, others emphasize the role Wagner, 2004). Perhaps reflecting this, student involvement in out-of-class ex- However, only about 3 in 10 young youth with disabilities increasingly are periences plays in students persistence taking rigorous academic courses in (Kuh, 1991). No single variable explains adults with disabilities have taken high school, including college prepara- persistence. What we know is that of the tory classes such as math and science postsecondary education classes (Wagner, Newman, & Cameto, 2004). However, the NLTS2 has also revealed As the American economy since leaving high school. that only about 3 in 10 young adults with disabilities have taken postsecond- ary education classes since leaving high becomes increasingly more school (Wagner, et. al., 2005). This cur- next decade suggest that the strongest rent rate of attending postsecondary knowledge-based, attaining job growth will be in occupations requir- school is less than half of their peers in ing postsecondary education. Further, the general population, with students a postsecondary education is analyses exploring the relationship with intellectual disabilities among between educational attainment and those with the lowest rates of enroll- more critical than ever. earnings have, over the past 25 years, ment. Attainment of a postsecondary found that the gap in earnings between education credential opens opportuni- the different educational levels has wid- ties in the labor market for individuals 53% of high school graduates who enter ened. For example, in 1975, those with with and without disabilities, including a four-year college directly from high an advanced degree earned 1.8 times as higher earnings, benefits, and opportu- school, only 35% graduate with a college much as high school graduates; by 1999, nities for career advancement. In short, degree. Findings are even more dismal the disparity had increased to 2.6 times it has increasingly become a ticket to an for students who enroll in two-year com- as much (Day & Newburger, 2002). The individual’s future economic self-suffi- munity and technical colleges, with only need for knowledge attainment and skill ciency. Yet, students with disabilities are one-third of students who enroll full- development through two-year and four- still very much in the minority in post- time in community colleges successfully year colleges and universities, as well as secondary education. completing their programs of study and Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Overview 3 graduating (Tinto, Russo, and Kadel, education and employment. And we Postsecondary Education: 1994). Even among those who enroll need to apply that emerging knowledge with a goal of earning a degree or certifi- in ways that make it possible for stu- A National Priority cate, fewer than half actually complete dents with intellectual, developmental, a credential of any kind (Silverberg, and other disabilities to successfully President Obama, in his February 2009 Warner, Fong, & Goodwin, 2004). enter and complete post-high school speech to the Joint Session of Congress, laid These findings do not bode well for educational programs through which out his administration’s goals and vision for young people with disabilities because they gain the knowledge and skills there is virtually no data that suggests necessary to participate in our nation’s postsecondary education participation in that their experiences are any different. workforce, and to be engaged citizens in America. Among his comments were these: While more youth with disabilities are our communities and society. In a global economy where the most valu- References able skill you can sell is your knowledge, a Cameto, R., Levine, P. & Wagner, M. (2004). Transition planning for stu- good education is no longer just a pathway dents with disabilities: A special topic report of findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. to opportunity – it is a pre-requisite. Right We need a better understanding Carnevale, A. & Desrochers, D. (2003). Standards for what? The economic roots of K- 12 reform. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing of what it takes to support Day, J. C., & Newburger, E. (2002). The big payoff: Educational attain- ment and synthetic estimates of work-life earnings. In Current Popula- occupations require more than a high tion Reports (23-210). Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau. school diploma. And yet, just over half of students with disabilities to Gardner, J. (1998, November). The changing role of developmental educa- tors in creating and maintaining cultures of success. Keynote address at our citizens have that level of education. We the College Reading and Learning Association Conference, Salt Lake City, UT. have one of the highest high school dropout successfully enter and complete Kuh, G. D. (1991). Involving colleges: Successful approaches to fostering rates of any industrialized nation. And half student learning and development outside the classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. post-high-school education. of the students who begin college never Luecking, R. & Gramlich, M. (2003). Quality work-based learning and postschool employment success. Information Brief, 2(2). [Minneapolis: finish. This is a prescription for economic University of Minnesota, National Center on Secondary Education and Transition]. decline, because we know the countries Silverberg, M., Warner, E., Fong, M., & Goodwin, D. (2004). National assessment of vocational education: Final report to Congress: Executive that out-teach us today will out-compete enrolled in two-year community and summary. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved July 12, 2007, from http://www.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/sectech/nave/ us tomorrow. That is why it will be the goal technical colleges than in other types of naveexesum.pdf postsecondary schools, there is no infor- of this administration to ensure that every Tinto, V., Russo, P., & Kadel, S. (1994). Constructing educational com- mation currently available on their rate munities. Community College Journal, 64(4), 26-29. child has access to a complete and competi- Wagner, M., Newman, L., & Cameto, R. (2004). Changes over time in of postsecondary education completion. the secondary school experiences of students with disabilities. A report of tive education – from the day they are born But given the additional barriers to par- findings from the National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS) and the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI to the day they begin a career... ticipation that they encounter in many International. postsecondary settings (i.e., program- Wagner, M., Newman, L., Cameto, R., Garza, N., & Levine, P. (2005) It is our responsibility as lawmakers and After high school: A first look at the post school experiences of youth with matic, support service, accessibility, disabilities. A report from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 educators to make [our educational] system (NLTS2). Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Retrieved 12/12/10 from financial etc.), their opportunities for http://www.nlts2.org/reports/2005_04/nlts2_report_2005_04_ work. But it is the responsibility of every complete.pdf success are likely more limited than stu- citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, dents without disabilities. I ask every American to commit to at least Seventy percent of students with dis- David R. Johnson is Director of the Institute on Community Integration, and one year or more of higher education or ca- abilities identified some type of employ- ment as a goal for the years after second- Associate Dean for Research in the College reer training. This can be community college ary school in their IEPs according to the of Education and Human Development, at or a four-year school; vocational training or NLTS2 (Wagner, et. al., 2005). Their the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. an apprenticeship. But whatever the train- future employability and opportunity to He may be reached at email@example.com ing may be, every American will need to become economically self-sufficient is, or 612/624-6300. Derek Nord is a Research get more than a high school diploma. And as for all students, linked to the attain- Associate at the Institute. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612/624-0386. dropping out of high school is no longer an ment of increased levels of knowledge and skills gained through participation option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s in postsecondary education and voca- quitting on your country – and this coun- tional preparation programs. We need try needs and values the talents of every a better understanding of what it takes American. to support students with disabilities – especially those with the lowest par- Excerpted from the Address to joint session of Congress, Tuesday, February 24th, 2009. Washington DC: The White House. Retrieved ticipation rates – in postsecondary 12/2/10 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/ remarks-president-barack-obama-address-joint-session-congress 4 Overview A Prelude to Progress: Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual Disabilities by Meg Grigal, Debra Hart and Sharon Lewis Given the current activity and recent is, “I want to go to college, but there is implementing evidence-based practices, coverage in some mainstream media nothing available in my community. cultivating common standards with around the issue of postsecondary Can you help me? Do you know of any which to measure and research such education for individuals with intel- programs in my area?” Data from the practices, and generating supportive lectual disabilities, it would be easy to National Longitudinal Transition policies at the federal, state, and local assume that this area is well established Study-2 (NLTS-2) indicate that only 2% levels will require significant amounts in terms of common values, philosophi- of out-of-school youth with intellectual of time and resources. As we look to this cal foundations, data-driven practices, disabilities in 2009 were enrolled in any next realm of adult life – higher educa- and widely available existing services. kind of postsecondary education institu- tion – with the intent to build upon Evidence of progress abounds. There tion (National Longitudinal Transition what’s been achieved and determine are now specific provisions support- Study – 2, 2009). These recent findings what might be possible for people with ing college access for individuals with demonstrate that for the majority of stu- intellectual disabilities, we must bear in intellectual disabilities in a federal law; dents with intellectual disabilities in our mind that as a field of study this is one unprecedented access to some forms of country, college is still not considered a that is in its infancy. History shows us financial aid; a recent State of the Art viable or realistic option. that change takes time. 2010 national conference with over 300 Therefore, the markers of progress It is not that long ago that a student participants; a Web site with databases may be a bit misleading as they in some with an intellectual disability did not on literature and existing programs; ways reflect the potential for a new real- have access to a public education, let and, as a sign of the times, a Facebook ity more than our current reality. We alone college. In fact, some states had and Twitter presence. These are all posi- cannot assume that the existence of laws that explicitly excluded children tive accomplishments and surely serve some research, some online or print with certain types of disabilities, includ- as significant markers toward progress. resources, and a relatively small number ing students with “mental retardation,” of programs means that our work here from attending public school. In the is done. The progress achieved thus far 1970s, parents in 26 states had to resort has allowed our field to begin a conver- to litigation to assert their children’s right to attend public schools (National We are entering a new phase of the sation that will likely need to last a very Council on Disability, 2000). Large long time. And we should expect to hear numbers of people with intellectual dis- conversation when the questions conflicting opinions regarding what abilities languished in state institutions can and should be possible for students where their basic needs were barely met. focus less on, “Should students with with intellectual disabilities in the con- The thought of educational or rehabili- text of postsecondary education. If, as tation services was not even considered, intellectual disabilities go to college?” Mohandas Gandhi observed, healthy certainly not as we know these services discontent is the prelude to progress, today. The medical community often and more on, “How can students with then we are certainly in the prelude counseled parents to institutionalize phase of this conversation. Perhaps as their children so they could get the intellectual disabilities go to college?” we celebrate these recent, and yes, im- “care” they needed and be “kept safe.” portant markers of progress we should also take a look back at the journey thus With the passage of the Education far to acknowledge and inform the long For All Handicapped Children Act (PL However, for a young person with road ahead. 94-142) in 1975 (now known as the an intellectual disability in a town or Individuals with Disabilities Education state where the choice of going to col- Act – IDEA), Congress finally cleared the A Historical Perspective way for children with disabilities to have lege does not exist, these markers have little impact. In fact they may serve as This topic of conversation, postsecond- the opportunity to learn and to succeed a frustrating reminder of the paucity ary education for students with intellec- in public school. Initially, the law was of available options. A constant refrain tual disabilities, brings with it important about creating access to a free, appro- from students with intellectual disabili- and complex questions about research, priate public education as well as indi- ties and their families across the country policy, and practice. Developing and vidualized planning and least restrictive Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Overview 5 learning environments. In the 35 years As IDEA evolved to reflect higher been the Americans with Disabilities Act since 1975, our public education system expectations for youth with disabilities (ADA). This year was the 20th anniver- has responded to new expectations for transitioning out of high school, this new sary of the ADA. Remarkable progress these students and developed teacher emphasis was reflected in the hundreds has been made: We now know what training programs, standards and qual- of projects funded by the Office of quality services are and that they must ity indicators, and regulatory oversight Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. be designed to support people with mechanisms. Much of this work was Department of Education, focused on intellectual disabilities in deciding what funded by the U.S. Department of demonstrating and researching transi- they want to do, when, and where. Peo- Education in the form of personnel tion practices in the 1980s and 1990s ple with intellectual disabilities have the preparation, model demonstration, and (OSEP, 2010). A similar level of interest right to try, take risks, fail, and succeed. field-initiated research projects. in postsecondary education for students The rights of students with intellectual This view of history allows us to put with intellectual disabilities, and corre- disabilities afforded under the ADA the current status of postsecondary sponding funding from federal agencies, (Office for Civil Rights, 2010) must not education access into perspective. It has will be required to expand the current only be protected but fully implemented been only two years since the passage foundation of practice and to guide so that the goals of the law – equality of of the Higher Education Opportunity future research and policy agendas. opportunity, across all aspects of adult Act amendments (PL 110-315), the law Another pivotal piece of legislation life, including higher education – are that supported access to higher educa- that has had a major impact on the lives fully realized for each person with an tion and federal aid for students with of people with intellectual disabilities has intellectual disability. intellectual disabilities. Consider for a [Grigal, continued on page 26] moment the status of public school ac- cess for students with disabilities two years after the passage of the Educa- tion for All Handicapped Children Act. Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual What was the level and consistency of services, the existence of standards to Disabilities: An Overview of Current Program Types guide best practice, and the research There are currently three main models of postsecondary education programs that admit students with supporting evidence-based practices and outcomes for special education intellectual disabilities: mixed or hybrid, substantially separate, and totally inclusive. Within each students that existed two years after this model, a wide range of supports and services is provided. Each model is described here in the order of ground-breaking piece of legislation? prevalence: The policies and practices of that time • Mixed/hybrid model: Students participate in social activities and/or academic classes with reflected the knowledge base and values of the time, and provided a foundation students without disabilities (for audit or credit) and also participate in classes with other students for future expansion and innovation. For with disabilities (sometimes referred to as “life skills” or “transition” classes). This model typically example, the notions of least restrictive provides students with employment experience on- or off-campus. environment, community integration, • Substantially separate model: Students participate only in classes with other students with and individualized planning have been present in disability, special education, disabilities (sometimes referred to as a “life skills” or “transition” program). Students may have the and rehabilitation legislation for many opportunity to participate in generic social activities on campus and may be offered employment years; yet the manner and extent to experience, often through a rotation of pre-established employment slots on- or off-campus. which these notions have been imple- • Inclusive individual support model: Students receive individualized services (e.g., educational mented in practice has evolved signifi- coach, tutor, technology, natural supports) in college courses, certificate programs, and/or degree cantly over time. Self-contained special education classrooms, sheltered employ- programs, for audit or credit. The individual student’s vision and career goals drive services. There ment workshops, and group homes were is no program base on campus. The focus is on establishing a student-identified career goal that at one time “state of the art” in their directs the course of study and employment experiences (e.g., internships, apprenticeships, work- respective fields of education, employ- based learning). Built on a collaborative approach via an interagency team (adult service agencies, ment, and community living. However, generic community services, and the college’s disability support office), agencies identify a flexible as our expectations evolved about what range of services and share costs. people with intellectual disabilities could achieve in terms of learning, Excerpted with permission from Hart, D., Grigal, M., Sax, C., Martinez, D. & Will, M. (2006). Postsecondary education working, and living with people without options for students with intellectual disabilities, Research to Practice, 45. Boston: Institute for Community Inclusion, disabilities, so did our practices. University of Massachusetts. Retrieved 12/21/10 from http://www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=178 6 Profile How College Benefits Us: Students with Intellectual Disabilities Speak Out compiled by Maria Paiewonsky Staff from the Institute for Community signs were, if they even had Braille Learning New Things Inclusion, at the University of Massachusetts signs at the campus. I got some help Many students talked about what they Boston, asked 50 students with intellectual from my mobility instructor. She are learning in their courses, and were disabilities who have participated in inclu- helped me learn routes around the especially eager to talk about courses that sive college experiences to share how they campus and reminded me to listen are related to their interests: perceive they have benefited from attending for new sound cues like the hum of college. Below are some of their comments on the vending machines in the student • I’m taking a course called “Music of six different aspects of college life. lounge. I do it on my own now. the 20th Century.” We talked about – Roberto, 19 Richard Strauss and we listened to his Alpine Symphony. We talked about Overcoming the First Day Jitters Louis Armstrong. We listened to Elvis Several students admitted that even Realizing the Differences Between Presley, the king of rock and roll, and though they were excited about going High School and College Courses we also listened to Ella Fitzgerald. A to college, the first few days were a little whole variety of music and jazz. A strong theme in the students’ respons- – Michael, 20 nerve-wracking. In addition to talking es was the realization they came to that about how they felt at the time, three stu- the college courses they take are much dents talked about how they overcame more rigorous than classes they took in their fears: high school, and that they are meeting My best class is my Choral Class. • At first, I didn’t know how to be in a higher academic expectations: college classroom. It’s scary in there. • When you’re still in high school, It really helped me find my voice. Cuz I just started. It was my first time when you’re taking math, for ex- going to college. When you start new ample, you think you’re taking a hard Not just my singing voice. I’m things, you’re not sure you can do class. Then, after you finish high it. Then you just say in your head, “I school and you sign-up for a math speaking up for myself now in think I can” and then you just do it. class at college, okay, that’s actually a – Adrian, 19 hard math class. – Cassidy, 21 many different situations. • College is okay. It’s kind of like high school but different. The class is In college, the professors don’t harder. In high school, you can come • I took a mythology class last semester in late. Here at college if you call your and even found a mythology Web baby you like they do in high professor, you can come in late, but site for the class that lists the gods in they don’t accept excuses. They tell alphabetical order and by country. At school. You’re responsible for you that. It’s up to you. Class starts first the professor was skeptical about on time and you have to be there. It’s letting a student with disabilities your own work. I like that. your responsibility. That’s what they take the class. Then he realized I had tell us. – Fabiola, 19 already read an older version of the • For me, when I was in high school, I textbook he was using for the class didn’t have the chance to take classes and changed his mind. – Crystal, 21 • It was tough being in a new place and • I love my painting class and my favor- with regular kids. Now, in college, I’m all, but I got by. I joined a club pretty ite painting is “The Egg.” I put lots of having to learn to do harder work. In quick and made a lot of friends. shadow into it, light, dark. My other high school I didn’t have homework – Antony, 21 painting,“The Green Bottle,” it was a lot. In college the professors don’t • Getting around the campus was so baby you like they do in high school. part of the college’s Student Art Show. difficult at first. It was so hard figur- You’re responsible for your own I went to the artist’s reception. I feel ing out where everything was. Like work. I like that. – Grace, 21 great that I had three paintings in the where the entrances were, what floor art show! – Allison, 20 my class was on, and where the Braille Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Profile 7 • I learned a lot in this class. We read who quit college and don’t want to Survey Findings on College Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Hab- get an education. Last year I thought Programs for Students with its of Highly Effective People, and we about quitting, but I didn’t. I said to learned about multiple intelligences. myself that the work might be hard, Intellectual Disabilities I know now I am an interpersonal but I know I can do it. And I did it. worker. That means I like to work with – Stephan, 20 In 2009, Think College conducted a national online people, not by myself. – Adrian, 19 survey of postsecondary education programs to identify existing services for students with Some Advice About College intellectual disabilities. There were 149 program Appreciating More Freedom and respondents f rom 37 states. Key findings included When asked what advice they have for Independence younger students who have not thought the following (the number of respondents is in Nearly all the students commented on about college or are anxious about try- parentheses – response rate varied by question): how much they appreciated the freedom ing college, the students had a number Types of Programs and independence they felt at college: of encouraging responses: • 50% were at four-year colleges or universities, • There’s more freedom at college, more • Motivate yourself. Believe you can go 40% at two-year colleges, and 10% at trade/ independence. It doesn’t matter if it’s to college. You don’t have to be the technical schools ( N=135) after class, or on the weekends. You world’s smartest student. You just • 45% served only adults, 26% served dually- come to college and find things to do. have to try. – Grace, 21 enrolled students, and 29% served both groups In college, it’s okay to hang out when • You know the thing is, students are (N=118) you’re not in class any time you want thinking that college is going to be to. – Joey, 21 Admissions and Fees tough for them in their future, but • 60% indicated students with intellectual • I like having time to work out at the you know what? College is more disabilities were formally enrolled (N=143) fitness center. You can meet people fun for people. They can take more there, get a work out, just hang out. different classes then they were tak- • 56% had special entrance criteria (N=149) – Antony, 21 ing back in high school. And get • 71% indicated students do not take the college • I like spending free time at the library everything done in college, not just course placement test (N=132) so I can check sports Web sites and my be lazy. None of this, I don’t want to • 78% did not charge students or families fees email. – Wilson, 21 do this, I don’t want to do this, I want for additional services related to students with to listen to music… No! Go to college intellectual disabilities (N=129) and get your education done through Becoming a Changed Person college. That’s what students have to Course Access understand. – Arielle, 19 • 75% offered other instruction or social events Several students described how they have specifically for students with intellectual changed as a result of going to college: • Taking college classes and looking for disabilities (N=129) work when you are still in school isn’t • Here’s what college has taught me easy. First of all, you have to work a • 75% indicated students with intellectual about myself: (1) I’ve learned how to lot. And you might miss your friends disabilities participate in group instruction be more aware; (2) I learned more from school and the classes you had or activities only with other students with about who I am as a person; (3) I’ve there. It’s hard to manage your new intellectual disabilities (N=129) learned how to be an independent and schedule. And there are always go- • 53% indicated students access courses through responsible person; and (4) I’m learn- ing to be transportation problems. I the typical registration process (N=130) ing to be more focused. – Grace, 21 worry about working it all out. But if Access to Disability, Housing and Other • My best class is my Choral Class. It you’re thinking is it all worth it? Yes, Services and Supports really helped me find my voice. Not I think it is. – Adrian, 19 • 58% received services from the college’s disability just my singing voice. I’m speaking office (N=128) up for myself now in many different Maria Paiewonsky is the Participatory situations. I was quiet before but now, • 39% offered residential options (N=123) Action Research Coordinator for Think here I am, talking about college. It’s College, Institute for Community Inclusion, • 49% indicated students had person-centered like, bam! I’ve got everything under University of Massachusetts, Boston. She planning (N=115) control. – Arielle, 19 may be reached at maria.paiewonsky@ Note: These findings represent only the programs that responded • I feel different now because I’m getting umb.edu or 617/287-7697. to the survey, and are not representative of every program serving students with intellectual disabilities in the U.S. Also, an education and meeting new people. responses indicated that programs vary considerably in terms of College might be hard, but you can get level of student integration, access to typical courses, services, through it. I know plenty of people and the level of involvement of disability services, if at all. Contributed by Debra Hart, Meg Grigal, and Cate Weir, Think College, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston. For more see http://thinkcollege.net 8 Overview Federal Legislation Increasing Higher Education Access for Students with Intellectual Disabilities by Judy L. Shanley In 2008, the Federal legislation that New Projects Using Diverse Strategies included; staffing projects with career regulates higher education policy was The Transition Program for Students center staff; and creating roles for reauthorized. The legislation, known with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) employers, business leaders, and as the Higher Education Opportunity Model Demonstration Projects are Department of Labor agencies and Act (HEOA) (PL 110-315), includes two required to support students through workforce development systems in the major provisions that have the potential a focus on academic, social, employ- delivery of instruction and develop- to facilitate entry into higher educa- ment, and independent living strategies. ment of courses related to careers and tion for more students with intellectual Twenty-seven five-year grants started employment. disabilities. First, through Title VII of on October 1, 2010 and offer hetero- • Independent Living/Residential Strate- the legislation, the U.S. Department geneous strategies and supports (see gies: Creating inclusive residential of Education, Office of Postsecondary http://www2.ed.gov/programs/tpsid/ options for students; offering life and Education (OPE), awarded five-year index.html). The range of strategies independent living skill coursework; grants to two- and four-year institu- implemented by these grantees sug- and addressing content related to tions of higher education and consortia gests that there is not a one-size-fits-all community activities such as trans- to implement model demonstration model for program implementation. portation, money management and projects. These projects will provide the Grant outcomes are expected to result budgeting, consumerism, and com- in improved understanding of varying munity participation. strategies used across programs, en- • Social Strategies: Ensuring that in- hanced learning regarding the resources The Higher Education Opportunity required to use these strategies, and, formation about campus clubs and social activities reaches students with to the extent possible, extended under- Act includes two major provisions standing of how particular strategies intellectual disabilities; providing ac- cess to institutional processes such as may affect student performance and that have the potential to facilitate success in higher education, and student obtaining a college identification card, and ensuring that students with intel- outcomes. The following illustrates the entry into higher education for more broad range of strategies used by transi- lectual disabilities have access to rec- reation events such as purchasing ath- tion programs for students with intellec- students with intellectual disabilities. tual disabilities: letic event tickets; inviting students with intellectual disabilities to serve • Academic/Instructional Strategies: in leadership positions within clubs or Using peer tutoring and mentoring organizations; and educating student by students without disabilities, and campus leaders about students with infrastructure for 27 institutions or con- educational coaching; implement- intellectual disabilities attending the sortia to establish or extend programs ing Universal Design for Learning; college and encouraging outreach and for students with intellectual disabilities enhancing faculty skill to provide communication strategies that invite in postsecondary education settings. supports through their involvement a diverse range of students to partici- Second, the Title IV regulations of the in advisory functions for the project; pate in social activities. HEOA enable eligible students to receive engaging disability student service Federal financial aid if they are enrolled professionals; and sharing informa- These transition programs for stu- in an approved comprehensive transi- tion with higher education faculty dents with intellectual disabilities require tion and postsecondary program. These and staff at professional develop- students to be socially and academically two pieces, made possible through the ment forums. integrated with students without dis- HEOA, are expected to create increased abilities to the maximum extent possible, opportunities for students with intel- • Employment/Career Strategies: Provid- ing inclusive practicum and intern- evidenced by providing students with lectual disabilities to attend higher choices to enroll in regular college education. ships; inviting participation of voca- tional rehabilitation professionals; classes, live in inclusive residences, raising awareness of campus career develop employment and career skills center events and ensuring that stu- through integrated work experiences, dents with intellectual disabilities are and participate in social activities, clubs, Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Overview 9 and recreation with college peers with- The Individuals with Disabilities a high school diploma or its equivalent, out disabilities. Programs incorporate Education Improvement Act of 2004 and to pass an ability-to-benefit test. One educational supports and instructional (IDEA) (PL 108-446) requires transition use of this test is to assist higher educa- delivery methods, such as educational planning for students with disabilities tion professionals to determine the in- coaching, peer tutoring, academic and that includes a coordinated set of activi- structional needs of incoming students. social mentors, universal course design ties in a results-oriented process focused The HEOA includes waivers to these two (Hart & Grigal, 2010; Zeff, 2007), and on improving the academic and func- provisions, thus, if an institution choos- Universal Design for Learning (Rose tional achievement of the student with es, and they participate in Federal student & Meyer, 2002; Shaw, 2010) to facili- a disability to facilitate their movement aid programs, the institution can apply tate student retention, advancement, from high school to post-school activi- to Federal Student Aid to have its com- and success (Thoma, Bartholomew, & ties, including postsecondary education, prehensive transition and postsecondary Scott, 2009). Programs also use varying vocational preparation, and integrated program approved. With the approval, methods of person-centered planning, employment (U.S. Department of students with intellectual disabilities who including individualized career plans, to Education, 2007). Students with intel- ensure that students have a voice and a lectual disabilities may receive these choice in planning their coursework, services, if they are identified in the selecting social opportunities, and individualized educational program The HEOA has provided an deciding upon career and employment (IEP), in higher education settings. goals. Educators suggest that under- The differences across secondary and impetus for transition planning standing individualized academic, so- postsecondary settings such as campus cial, and career-related needs of students size, variety of classes, and the increased and building transition with disabilities and encouraging equal opportunities that students have to plan opportunity, full participation, indepen- their own learning and social experi- infrastructures across K-12 and dent living, and economic self-sufficiency ences, require early transition planning are important to raising expectations for (Getzel & Wehman, 2005). Educators in postsecondary education. student outcomes (Turnbull, Turnbull, K-12 settings can invite higher education Wehmeyer, & Park, 2003). program staff and students with intel- Another key feature of the transi- lectual disabilities to visit schools to help tion programs for students with intel- raise awareness regarding the possibili- are eligible to participate in Federal lectual disabilities is the expectation ties of attending higher education; offer student aid, based on financial need, for cross-setting collaboration and summer programs in which middle and may be eligible to receive Federal Pell linkages across K-12 settings, and across high school students with intellectual Grants, Federal Work-Study (FWS), employment and community settings. disabilities attend the college program; and Federal Supplemental Educational Characteristics related to collaborating and offer family events at which parents Opportunity Grants (FSEOG). (Informa- across secondary and postsecondary of students with intellectual disabilities tion about the process by which institu- education settings and transition plan- can receive information about post- tions update their Federal application to ning are linked to improved post-school secondary education programs. These Federal Student Aid is available at outcomes for students with intellectual strategies are often linked to improved http://ifap.ed.gov/eannouncements/ disabilities (Neubert & Redd, 2008). In post-school outcomes for students with 062110TitleIVEligibility.html). some projects, transition personnel may disabilities (Halpern, Yovanoff, Doren, sit on advisory committees at the higher & Benz (1995). Making Use of the HEOA Provisions education institution and may plan and co-teach classes. In other projects, busi- The HEOA has not only provided op- New Regulations Open Up Federal ness leaders, employers, and vocational portunities for students with intellectual Student Financial Aid rehabilitation professionals are part of disabilities to access higher education, the planning, implementation, and ad- Students with intellectual disabilities the legislation has provided an impetus visory functions of the program. As the and their families cite the high cost of for transition planning and building evidence supports, when students have higher education as a barrier to partici- transition infrastructures across K-12 access to a range of community-based pation in postsecondary education and postsecondary education. Transition instruction, work-based learning, and (Grigal & Hart, 2010). Prior to the personnel can learn about the programs a focus on career-development (Izzo & HEOA, students with intellectual dis- that may be available in their area, and Lamb, 2003) improved post-school out- abilities were unable to participate in can offer to provide information and comes are realized. Federal aid programs because of re- resources regarding program develop- quirements for students to have attained ment to students and their transition [Shanley, continued on page 27] 10 Profile “What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?”: A College Graduate by Claire Bible “What do you want to be when you grow I can’t remember a time from 12 on When I flew home for the holiday I took up?” A question that is timeless through up when I didn’t think about going to a meeting with the program. I had found the ages. When I was little, growing up college. I kept daydreaming about it even the door with the talking door knob in Wisconsin, the response was simple, in high school. In high school I took the at long last! In 2008, I graduated from automatic: I wanted to be a writer. When ACTs, and applied to colleges. Since I Threshold with a certificate in early asked the same question in middle school have a learning disability in math I didn’t childhood, a few transferable credits, my response was, “To go to college.” take the regular set of math classes (this and moved home to an opportunity that I daydreamed about college. In the wasn’t for lack of trying). I took both I felt lucky to have. realm of daydreams I would minor in pre-algebra and algebra 1 my freshmen The differences between the two pro- one or two areas of study, double-major and sophomore years, and after that I grams hit me right away. While I respect graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, go on took life skill math classes. Because of the Threshold Program, it’s an older to graduate school to get my Masters. this not many colleges were open to me. model. Threshold gives you the funda- I even got two rejection letters from the mental education, which is important; it same school. gives you a solid foundation. Where it is Then I found the Threshold Program lacking is in giving you the wings to fly. I daydreamed about college. In at Lesley University in Boston. Threshold is an independent living curriculum that the realm of daydreams I would shares the Lesley campus and facilities. I moved to Boston and began college in minor in one or two areas of study, the Threshold Program in 2006 and was there for two years. They had their own double-major graduate with a dorms for us, their own agenda of what was important, and a curriculum that Bachelor of Arts, go on to graduate had us hopping from nine in the morn- ing to seven, sometimes eight or nine, at school to get my Masters. night. After a time I began to get steadily frustrated. I wasn’t getting anywhere in the arts (my main area of interest); they offered only three extra-curricular class- These daydreams were fueled by the fact es in the arts. I picked one of the two While the goal of living independently that my oldest cousin was at the time available majors, Early Childhood, kept is well and good, your 20s should be the going off to college. I was inspired by it up with my classes, and began to look time of pursuing your dreams, making all. I wanted to go myself. I even thought for that small talking doorknob out of mistakes, finding out who you are. In occasionally of stuffing myself into a Alice in Wonderland that could lead me Threshold, “our 20s” are your mid-40s. duffle bag so that he would have to take somewhere different. In the meantime, Cutting Edge puts the student in me with him. Unfortunately for me there I involved myself on my campus. I went the college classroom with the motto wasn’t a duffle bag that I could fit into. to every event, cause or otherwise. I saw that everyone that wants a postsecond- I’ve always loved to learn; I was a fantastic plays, many comedians, and ary education can get one. Instead of curious kid. Learning didn’t always come heard and saw so many bands that way. focusing on independent living, Cutting easy to me (I have a learning disability I would spend weekend nights, or any Edge spends only five hours a week on in math). Despite that, I loved school. time when I didn’t have anything else independent living, and the rest is made This love of learning and my childhood pressing, at the student center, some- up of the classes you’re taking, study- curiosity helped me in high school. I saw times to the witching hour of five in the ing, and living life. No college is ever a homework as recreation and I loved it, I morning, working on my novels. And my breeze to get through, and Cutting Edge thrived on it. Many evenings were spent poetry found a voice at the open mike. is no exception. But, if you work hard reading books and cuddling with Domi- It was around Christmas that I learned you’ll find that Cutting Edge is that fairy no or Stella (whichever cat preferred me of the Cutting Edge program at Edge- godmother that you dreamed of as a at that moment) while listening to music. wood College in Madison, Wisconsin. child, along with Tinkerbell who holds Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Profile 11 the fairy dust that if shaken liberally can is a large part of it. My advice for teach- important; the money has to come from give you the wings to fly. ers is to inspire and challenge all your somewhere. Apply for grants, think I’ve benefited greatly from being students, those with disabilities and creatively: yard sales, lemonade stands, within the Cutting Edge environment. without. When you ask that question, food drives, book drives, clothing drives, Now I don’t feel unrealistic in what I’m “What do you want to be when you grow the list is endless. Sit down and start shooting for. I’ve been able to take fan- up?” really listen; don’t say it’s an unre- listing ways. Decide on what kind of op- tastically challenging classes with amaz- alistic dream, and dream big with them. portunity you want to give; do you have ing professors. I have found another You could be the teacher that student goals for it? Come up with a philosophy. stage for my poetry; in the past year I remembers forever for saying “yes you If you’re applying for bank loans, they’re took second in the talent show. I also can.” Every child wants to be believed in. going to want, and most likely need to took second out of the entire English Use your resources, make lists, and help see, a business plan and how you plan to department with one of my poems that them begin to achieve their dreams even apply it as well. I had submitted to the writing contest. I if it might take years. The time you take Oh, and always keep asking that have also have been living on campus in will make a difference. Attend IEP meet- question that is timeless through the the dorms going on three years. ings with good listening skills; listen ages: “What do you want to be when you My advice for kids with disabilities is with an open heart to the parents, and grow up?” I guarantee the answers you’ll to keep dreaming. Never let anyone tell the student. For people wanting to pro- get will always surprise you. you that you can’t; anything can happen vide an opportunity for postsecondary – it’s a long life. Keep fighting for what education for students with disabilities, Claire Bible is a student in the Cutting Edge you want, speak up, let the world hear my advice is to not make promises you program at Edgewood College, Madison, your voice, even if it’s the tiniest of roars can’t keep. Don’t hawk an opportunity Wisconsin. keep roaring, working hard, and just be- if it’s not something you can actually ing you. Advocating as loudly as you can provide. Fundraising for the program is Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities: Emerging Standards, Quality Indicators and Benchmarks The growth of postsecondary education programs experiences to support positive outcomes for students with intellectual disabilities, and to assure for people with intellectual disabilities over the individuals with intellectual disabilities. Further, the alignment with requirements in the HEOA. In this past decade, coupled with important changes to standards, indicators, and benchmarks are aligned way, the standards will assist programs in applying the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), have with the definition of a comprehensive postsecondary to be an “eligible program” under the HEOA and led to a need for a more standardized approach to and transition program for students with intellectual therefore be eligible for financial aid for its students. determine the efficacy and quality of such programs. disabilities contained in the HEOA in an effort to assist By mid-2011 the final validated standards, Therefore, in 2008, the National Institute on with compliance with these parameters. quality indicators, and benchmarks will be Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) and The resulting standards, quality indicators, and posted on the Think College Web site (www. the Administration on Developmental Disabilities benchmark tool includes eight overarching standards thinkcollege.net) as a resource for new and existing funded research to determine a set of standards, that have been identified as critical areas of focus for programs, eventually available on the Web site quality indicators, and benchmarks that could be postsecondary education programs for students with as a downloadable guide. In addition, an online used by existing and new programs. The Institute for intellectual disabilities. They are: Academic Access, self-assessment tool will also be developed that will Community Inclusion at University of Massachusetts Career Development, Social Networks, Fostering allow those who are implementing a postsecondary Boston, in partnership with TransCen, Inc., received Self-Determination, Integration with College Systems education program to rate their practices with those funding to complete this research, and the process to and Practices, Coordination and Collaboration, reflected in the standards. For those establishing develop a validated set of standards commenced in Sustainability, and Evaluation. These eight standards a new postsecondary program, the standards will 2009. The ongoing research is resulting in a validated represent the key areas that those establishing and/ provide guidance on what is promising practice in set of practices that can be used by institutes of or improving these programs should consider. Each the field and what is required by the HEOA. higher education to create, expand or enhance represents an area that is vital to establishing a Contributed by Cate Weir, Debra Hart and Meg Grigal, of Think College, high-quality, inclusive postsecondary education comprehensive, inclusive educational experience for Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston. To learn more see http://thinkcollege.net 12 Profile The Power of Inclusion: Personal Reflections on Creating Change by Shea Howell What then would be our reason for institut- ments for change. Micah has a keen used was to develop some options for ing a program for students whose goal is not interest in politics; he was among the Micah so that he could select among degree completion? The participation of stu- most-informed students in the class and ideas. While it was often difficult for dents with cognitive disabilities on our cam- participated fully in discussions. During him to generate new topic areas, once he pus indicates that we have a broader view of the class he was the first to have seen grasped a direction he was able to move our institution as a center for learning...The Milk, a film about gay activist Harvey forward. liberal arts tradition maintains that higher Milk of San Francisco. He encouraged His final speech presentation in the education is more than preparation for a classmates to see it and talked about course, on the use of the word “retard- specific career or profession. It is about the how important it was for people to un- ed,” required research and organization- continual quest for deeper understanding, derstand the struggles individuals faced. al skills that challenged him. Working richer life experiences, and personal growth; This kind of contribution was typical of with his parents and another student, in short, the overused term – life-long learn- Micah’s participation, offering resources Micah crafted and delivered an excellent ing. If we accept this as the role of higher and insights to others. presentation, earning one of the highest education, then we must believe that this is Grades in that course depended on grades in the class. More importantly, our mission toward all individuals. papers discussing some aspect of social the speech touched off a discussion with – Virinder Moudgil, Senior Vice President movements. The only modification I for Academic Affairs and Provost, Oakland made was to allow Micah to substitute University, delivered at Options Graduation video interviews for written papers. Ceremony, April 19, 2010 This did require giving him some clear Adapting classes to meet the direction in how to frame questions and Micah Fialka-Feldman graduated from approach issues. Generally, it was helpful needs of students with cognitive Oakland University in the spring of for me to develop a few ideas and present 2010, completing six years in a program them to Micah so that he could chose disabilities took minimal effort. designed to provide a fully inclusive uni- among them. He followed the same versity experience to young people with assignment schedule and handed in his As a community we grew intellectual disabilities. With the support interviews along with everyone else’s of Micah, his family, and visionary edu- papers. He worked with another student tremendously because of it. cational professionals, Oakland Univer- on their final presentation, analyzing his sity opened its doors for full inclusion. effort to overturn a university ruling pre- In the course of this experience I was venting him from living in the dorm. able to observe the power of inclusion to The second class, Public Speaking, students saying how much they appreci- transform institutions and individuals. also drew on Micah’s strengths. During ated Micah’s perspective and how he I taught Micah in two classes during high school, he spoke to groups about made them think about things they had his final semester. He was in a public people with disabilities. By the time he never considered. The experience of in- speaking class and I directed his cap- came to the university he had established viting people to think more deeply and stone course. A year earlier Micah also a record of speaking events. Micah not to rethink old ideas are important gifts took my class Persuasion and Social only spoke on campus, but traveled local- of inclusion to the campus community. Movements. I was involved in his course ly and nationally to make presentations For the capstone course, Micah selection throughout his academic ca- to gatherings large and small. Depending worked with Sarah Vore, a student do- reer. I was able to watch Micah grow as primarily on Power Point™ presenta- ing a capstone in writing. Together, they an individual and to observe the impact tions to provide structure, Micah was produced a film about Micah’s experi- he had on other students. comfortable as a speaker. In a class with ences at Oakland. Sarah and Micah met My first classroom experience with mostly freshman and sophomores he with Micah’s family at their initiation Micah was in Persuasion and Social was among the most natural, organized, and with Micah’s permission. This Movements. This class fit his strengths. and effective speakers. Micah’s main proved to be an important support in His family members are well-known challenge was to move beyond material developing the project. Micah’s parents activists and he has spent a lifetime that he had presented and to explore new helped Sarah understand how to work surrounded by people engaged in move- ideas. Here, too, the primary strategy I with him to get his best ideas. They Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Profile 13 encouraged Sarah to not only help him A primary benefit for Sandra was the meetings we were able to make adapta- frame questions for interviews, but to sense of social awareness because tions that enriched the class experience be willing to challenge him. Having high of the project. Sandra describes for everyone. We recognized no one expectations and not settling for less working with Micah as “a wonder- strategy fit all students or all classes, but were important for their success in the ful experience.” Over the weeks that through open communication and at- project. Sarah wrote in her capstone they worked together, she says, she tention to the goal of full participation, paper about the experience: acquired a greater appreciation for Having never given much thought individuals with disabilities: “I now to higher education for this select have a better understanding of some group of individuals, my experiences of the frustrations encountered by Through open communication with Micah have completely opened many individuals with cognitive my eyes to the academic and social impairments.” At the same time, and attention to the goal of enrichment capabilities of those who Micah not only benefited from the are classified as “intellectually dis- experience in terms of communica- full participation, we were able abled.” (p. 3) tive growth, but also from the social interaction, citing the social nature to find ways to meet the needs Earlier Sarah described her first meet- of the sessions as the most beneficial ing with Micah and how she was able to aspect. (p. 214) of all students. confront her own stereotypes: Micah’s visible presence on campus res- I felt both a sense of intrigue and en- onated with other students with disabili- thusiasm as we easily made conversa- ties. In a moving article in the Oakland tion. It was during that moment that we were able to find ways to meet the Post, Shawn Minnix (2010) wrote: needs of all students. Adapting classes my prior myths associated with intel- lectual disabilities were dispelled. I thought I would take a minute to to meet the needs of students with cog- (p. 1) congratulate all of the seniors on nitive disabilities took minimal effort. their upcoming graduation. There is As a community we grew tremendously Sarah’s reaction to Micah was not un- one person that I wish to acknowl- because of it. usual. By his senior year he was among edge separately, and that would be References the most recognized students on the Micah Fialka-Feldman, or as we just Kitchens, M. & Dukhie, S. Chapter 9: Speech-to-text: Peer tutoring, campus. In chronicling the highlights of know him Micah. Micah has a cogni- technology, and students with cognitive impairments. In R. Day Babcock & S. Daniels (Eds.), Writing centers and disability (pp. 193-222). the graduating class, the Oakland Post, tive disability, and is set to get his Unpublished manuscript. the student newspaper, listed ground- certificate at the end of this semester, Minnix, S. (2010, April 13). Underdogs succeed at Oakland. Oakland Post. Retrieved 12/8/10 from http://oaklandpostonline.com/2010/04/13/ breaking for new buildings, a 9% tuition finishing his odyssey and complet- perspectives/underdogs-succeed-at-oakland/ hike, a faculty strike, and “After covering ing his education. I look at Micah Moudgil, V. (2010). Unpublished remarks delivered upon the completion of the Options program, Oakland University, April 19, 2010. his story for over a year, Micah Fialka- and what he has accomplished and Return the favor, rise up; If you stay or go, improve what was left for Feldman won his personal battle to live smile. He inspires us all to do greater you: Staff editorial. (2010, April 14). Oakland Post. Retrieved 12/8/10 from http://oaklandpostonline.com/2010/04/13/editorial/return-the- on campus...” (“Return the favor,” 2010). things. I should know. In some ways, favor-rise-up-if-you-stay-or-go-improve-what-was-left-for-you/ This is perhaps my greatest lesson from I used to BE Micah. I was placed in a Vore, S. (2010). Micah Fialka-Feldman. Unpublished senior capstone project (WRT 491 Internship), Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan. this experience with Micah and efforts school for the emotionally impaired at inclusion. It is not only important for when I was 6 years old, and I stayed the growth of the individual, but it radi- there until I was 14 and it was hell Shea Howell is Professor of Communica- cally challenges and changes the stereo- from the start. I was told by my own tion at Oakland University, Rochester, types of others. principal that I would never finish Michigan. She may be reached at howell@ Even in the earliest days of the pro- high school. oakland.edu or 248/370-4120. gram, the potential for altering thinking was clear. In a book chapter co-written The full inclusion of Micah and other by Marshall Kitchens, the director of the students required professors who were Writing Center, and one of his students, willing to think creatively about what Sandra Dukhie, about tutoring Micah would enable students to contribute and on the use of assistive technologies, they learn in classes. The single most impor- noted the benefit to Micah’s increased tant source of these strategies emerged confidence, but went on to say: from meetings with Micah, with his administrative support team of profes- sionals, and with his family. Out of these 14 Overview Key Roles in Planning the Transition to College and Careers by Margo Vreeburg Izzo Students with disabilities have the most The IEP is developed to prepare the school is paid work experience in high important role in planning their own student for postsecondary education school. Gaining the skills to maintain transition from high school to postsec- and employment. Once students reach employment is critical even if a student ondary education, employment, and the age of 16, they assist the IEP team wants to go to college. Ultimately, em- independent living. However, parents, to develop measurable postsecondary ployment is the goal of both high school educators, and adult services person- goals. Examples of such goals are: “After and college programs. nel also have crucial roles in the teams high school, Liz will obtain a two-year Finally, the IEP must include a state- that work with the students to prepare degree in Allied Health’s Patient Care ment of the interagency responsibilities for post-high school life. This article Program” and “After high school, Juan or any needed linkages. For example, a provides an overview of some of the will attend classes at Independence rehabilitation counselor may support a key roles of those adults in assisting stu- Community College and work part-time summer work experience by funding a dents to explore, plan for, and move into on campus in the bookstore or student job developer and coach to work with further education and career prepara- center.” Once these measurable post- a student. By including descriptions of tion opportunities after high school. secondary goals are developed, the IEP both educational and adult services in team writes annual goals and identifies the IEP, a coordinated set of transition transition services needed to prepare services leading to postsecondary educa- The Role of the IEP Team students to reach their postsecondary tion and careers is more likely to occur. Federal legislation provides very clear goals. Since students’ postsecondary guidance on how educators and par- goals guide what types of annual goals The Role of Transition Services ents must design special education and and transition services are delivered, it related services to prepare students is essential to identify postsecondary Transition services are designed to fa- with disabilities for further education, goals that students are motivated to cilitate movement from school to adult employment, and independent living. achieve. For example, if a student wants settings including college, vocational The Individuals with Disabilities Educa- to go to college but doesn’t currently education, employment, continuing tion Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires school have the study habits and educational and adult education, adult services, personnel to begin planning transition track record to make that a realistic goal, independent living, and community par- services with the student, parents, and then teachers and parents need to share ticipation. IEP teams consider students’ other agency representatives prior to their concerns with the student. They strengths, preferences and interests the student’s 16th birthday, or younger need to give him or her an opportunity when planning these services. Transi- if determined appropriate. The Indi- to take steps toward better preparation tion services are provided by teachers vidualized Education Program (IEP) to achieve that goal or to revise the goal. and related services personnel such team must review the IEP annually and Going to college will require attending as occupational therapists, transition update the: classes, doing homework, and receiving specialists, and rehabilitation counsel- (aa) “appropriate measurable post- grades. If a student does not like these ors. These school and adult services secondary goals based upon age- tasks, perhaps the student could look personnel provide instruction and appropriate transition assessments at alternative forms of post-high-school community experiences to develop the related to training, education, em- education, such as attending non-credit skills students need to navigate college ployment, and, where appropriate, adult learning classes through the local and employment settings. Bridge pro- independent living skills; adult and community education pro- grams located on college campuses, but gram where participants do not have to designed for high school students, are (bb) transition services (including complete homework or take tests. becoming increasingly popular. These courses of study) needed to assist the The IEP team is also involved in plan- programs give students opportunities to child in reaching those goals.” ning community experiences with the navigate college settings with their age- (IDEA of 2004, Section 614, d, VIII) student to confirm potential employ- peers without disabilities, enroll in or ment and postsecondary goals and to audit college classes, and move toward The IEP team meets on an annual basis explore various work and college set- employment and adult participation in to discuss the student’s vision for the tings. Research indicates that the best the community. future, present levels of performance, predictor of employment following high transition services, and annual goals. Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Overview 15 The Role of Rehabilitation Services that may reduce or eliminate an employ- Creating a Transition Portfolio The Rehabilitation Act was reauthorized ment impediment, prosthetics, employ- The transition portfolio is a collection of under the Workforce Investment Act ment-related transportation, related of 1998 to consolidate, coordinate, and personal services, interpreter services, documents students prepare to help develop improve employment, training, literacy, and rehabilitation technology. their postsecondary goals and their plans and vocational rehabilitation services. Several studies have reported that to achieve those goals. Students print out The act mandates that vocational reha- students with intellectual and develop- and place these documents in a binder and bilitation (VR) counselors participate in mental disabilities who participate in save them electronically for easy updating transition planning for students served postsecondary education have increased in the future. Many of the documents can be under IDEA, at the very least, in the their earnings (Grigal & Dwyre, 2010). developed in English or technology classes to form of consultation and technical as- Despite this, not all VR counselors will sistance (National Council on Disability, include the costs for college as a VR meet required academic standards and course 2009). Students with disabilities are service in the IPE. However, many pro- objectives. The following items are suggested eligible for VR services if they meet the fessionals and parents can attest to the for inclusion in the portfolio: following three criteria: significant growth in employability skills • PowerPoint™ presentation outlining results • Their physical or mental impairment that occurs when young adults with of students’ transition assessment surveys, constitutes or results in a substantial disabilities are participating in college classes with their age-peers. The skills of careers of high interest, postsecondary impediment to employment. being a good student overlap consider- goals, and transition activities they will im- • They can benefit from VR services in ably with those skills needed for success- plement to prepare for college and careers. terms of an employment outcome. ful employment. • Job comparison chart outlining the nature of • They require VR services to prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment. work, working conditions, salary and educa- Conclusion tion needed to enter their top two careers. However, not all eligible students can be served by VR due to a lack of funds. In summary, professionals and parents • College comparison chart outlining the Vocational rehabilitation counselors should encourage high school students costs, size, residential options, majors and provide direct services to help transi- with intellectual disabilities to take the supports available at two or three colleges tion-age youth gain the educational and lead in exploring the skills and educa- of high interest. vocational skills needed to transition tion needed to transition to college and to living, working, and participating careers of interest. Students must take an • Career narrative explaining their postsec- as adults in community life. The VR active role in developing their IEPs and ondary plans. counselor works with eligible youth and be comfortable talking about the nature • Measurable postsecondary goals for em- the IEP team to develop an Individual of their disabilities with both educators ployment and education or training that Plan for Employment (IPE) designed to and other professionals. Encouraging students and their IEP team can consider assess, plan, develop and provide VR students to advocate for necessary ac- including in the IEP. services to prepare for, and engage in, commodations in the high school setting gainful employment (National Council will prepare them for college. Finally, em- • Short-term, annual goals students can on Disability, 2009). An IPE contains powering students to embrace their fu- complete this year to help them meet their the specific employment outcome that tures with the self-determination needed long-term postsecondary goals. is chosen by the eligible individual, and to set goals and make adjustments on a • Resumé and cover letter for students to any services provided by VR listed and daily basis will help ensure their success. attach to a job or college application. described in the IPE must be focused References toward securing a reasonable employ- • Completed job and college applications to Grigal, M. & Dwyre, A. (October 2010). Employment activities and ment outcome. VR counselors provide outcomes of college-based transition programs with students with use as samples for future applications. intellectual disabilities. Insight, 3. Retrieved 1/12/11 from http://www. services to enable youth with disabilities thinkcollege.net/about-us/publications • Written interview with a professional from to leave high school, attain postsecond- Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq. (2004). their chosen career area. ary education and training, and achieve National Council on Disability (2009). National disability policy: A progress employment rates and levels of wages report. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved 5/24/09 from http://www.ncd. • Checklist of tasks that must be completed gov/newsroom/publications/2009/publications.htm comparable to their peers without dis- to reach their postsecondary goals. abilities. Services provided through the Margo Vreeburg Izzo is Associate Director • Bookmarks listing Web sites that have been IPE to youth and adults eligible for VR and Program Director of Special Education helpful in clarifying the students’ career include assessment, counseling and and Transition at the Nisonger Center, The goals and transition plans. guidance, referral, job-related services, Ohio State University, Columbus. She may be corrective surgery, therapeutic treatment reached at 614/292-9218 or email@example.com. Contributed by Margo Izzo, Associate Director and Pro- gram Director of Special Education and Transition at the Nisonger Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus. 16 How-To Preparing Students with Intellectual Disabilities for College: Tips for Parents and Teachers by Beth Swedeen Last year while attending our state’s resulting in a lack of skills needed for regardless of disability – for the success transition conference, my 17-year-old postsecondary and employment success. of students in college. daughter told me she wanted to speak In addition, they are not forming the at the conference this coming year. Over relationships through which so many of Beginning in Middle School the summer we developed and submit- us learn about opportunities. How many ted a proposal that tells her story: how a high school students learn about a job or During 6th and 7th grade, the following student with developmental disabilities become interested in a college through preparations for college can begin: fully participates in family, school, and their connections with a friend or rela- • Talk with the student about a range community life. I was both proud and tive? For this to happen, those relation- of careers and necessary preparation. a bit surprised when the proposal was ships need to be taking place. one of the few chosen for a very limited Developing family, school, and com- • Use person-centered planning tools number of breakout sessions. However, munity expectations that individuals (e.g., PATH, MAPS, Essential Life- it also saddened me that her experiences with disabilities will participate across style Plans) to identify the student’s are so unusual: She takes almost all the lifespan in their schools, on the job, strengths, interests, motivators, con- general education courses (with modifi- and in their communities is essential in nections, and potential resources. cations) in a large, comprehensive high creating both the opportunities and re- • Look at different postsecondary pro- school where she participates in extra- lationships necessary for students with grams online with the student. curricular clubs and leadership opportu- intellectual disabilities to develop goals • Attend college sports activities, plays, nities; has started and maintains a small and achieve their dreams. While some or other events together if you live jewelry business with her sister; and is families have paved the way in creating near a college or university. active in volunteer and other commu- the expectation that students with intel- • Encourage the student to use the nity service work. She also is on the local lectual disabilities can and should attend Internet to conduct searches about “speaking circuit” to college students college, many other families who have careers and postsecondary options. and parent groups. experienced years of low expectations from schools and other professionals • Encourage the student to make may need support to develop that vision. choices and his or her own purchases As for any young adults, preparation at stores, restaurants, movie theaters. Preparation for college for students for college for students with intellectual • Have the student sign-in or check-in disabilities needs to begin years before for doctor and dentist visits. with intellectual disabilities those application forms are filled out • Make sure the student has a library and a tuition down payment is made. card. Libraries are a great resource needs to begin years before those Students with intellectual disabilities for practice making choices and per- may benefit from even more exposure forming independent transactions. application forms are filled out and and practice than their peers in making Students also begin to learn respon- choices, exploring options, developing sibility for keeping track of the card a tuition down payment is made. self-advocacy skills, and learning to navi- and checked-out resources. gate their communities. Sadly, most are • Include and involve the student in getting far fewer, if any, opportunities general education courses. compared with their peers. In reality, even 35 years after the Here are some ways families and • Encourage use of technologies other passage of legislation opening up public schools can begin early in encouraging, students use (Internet, iPods, email), school experiences for our children, providing, and supporting those critical as well as assistive technology such as students with intellectual disabilities experiences and opportunities that voice to text programs. often remain on the fringes of school help students with intellectual disabili- • Discuss with the student extra- and community life. They continue to ties prepare academically, form social curricular and other community experience lower levels of involvement connections, develop self-advocacy opportunities that match his or her in activities, organizations, and life expe- skills, and increase independence. These interests. riences compared with their peers, often four components are all necessary – Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. How-To 17 • Discuss and set-up necessary sup- and participating in the IEP process • Further facilitate discussion and ex- ports for the student to participate in (e.g., welcoming participants, shar- ploration of career options through extra-curricular activities. ing favorite experiences from the career fairs, job shadows, in-school • Involve the student in aspects of the school or a new interest discovered). and community volunteer experi- IEP process (e.g., display or discuss • Discuss possible summer activities ences, and service learning. the student’s portfolio of work, talk that align with the student’s career • Begin to fade the use of one-on-one about goals for the coming year, and academic interests, such as vol- supports. Encourage connections decide who to invite). unteer opportunities, interest camps with peers for support, such as and recreation programs, and part- peer-tutoring, mentoring, and study time work. groups. During Eighth Grade • Help the student learn to identify • Continue to explore with the student Parents and teachers can support prepa- technologies teens use to connect and when he or she needs help, and then ration for postsecondary education by communicate (e.g., Facebook, cell ask peers for support when needed. doing the following while the student is phones, texting, instant messaging). • Support the student to learn appro- in 8th grade: • Reflect with the student, toward the priate self-regulation and classroom • Continue to discuss with the student end of the year, on school and com- behaviors (e.g., asking for a break, possible career paths and interests. munity experiences in which he or she asking for help from a peer, not inter- participated during middle school. rupting classroom discussion). • Administer age-appropriate transi- Evaluate what went well, what sup- • Discuss ways that the student can be- tion assessments, including person- ports were helpful, and what activities gin to take ownership for daily chores centered planning tools. are worth pursuing in high school. at home (e.g., making lunch, clean- • Connect the student to possible lead- ing room, adhering to a medication ership opportunities (e.g., 4-H, self- schedule). advocacy training, school leadership Beginning in 9th Grade teams). • Encourage establishment of a bank Among the steps parents and teachers account and use of a debit card and/ • Work with the student to develop can take to further prepare a student for or checkbook. high school class schedules aligned to postsecondary education beginning in his or her transition path and course 9th grade and continuing through the of study, with a priority on general remainder of high school are these: Conclusion education courses with accommoda- tions/modifications as needed. • Continue discussions with the My daughter’s presentation for the student about his or her interests, conference is a work in progress. She • Discuss the value of extra-curricular aptitudes, and motivators through- continues to work on new skills. These activity involvement and encourage out high school. include using her planner every single the student to identify and partici- • Continue using age-appropriate day and getting a ride home from a pate in at least one activity during transition assessments. friend after school, then letting herself freshman year. into the house with her key and calling • Include a high school teacher on the • Provide opportunities to encourage me to say she got home. It seems like 8th grade transition IEP team. development of self-advocacy and the set of skills to learn is endless, but other self-help skills through typical • Set up a high school tour and spend having those opportunities to practice high school experiences (e.g., field some time in the high school setting problem-solving and take some risks are trips in which the student makes as part of the 8th grade transition what growing up is all about. And they his or her own lunch and incidental process, if needed. certainly increase any young person’s purchases, learning to ride the city • Consider peer mentors, as opposed chances of success in college. bus, buying items at the school store, to adult supports, as guides, tutors, signing up for peer tutoring, etc.). or supports when possible. Beth Swedeen is Executive Director with the • Provide support for the student to Wisconsin Board for People with Develop- • Encourage participation in programs keep and use a daily planner. mental Disabilities, and former Transition and activities that have an overnight • Work with the student to design a Specialist with the Waisman Center at the component, such as Scouting and class schedule based on ability, in- University of Wisconsin, Madison. She may other camps, recreation programs, terests, and postsecondary options, be reached at Beth.Swedeen@wisconsin.gov. sleep-overs with friends, etc. prioritizing general education classes • Provide opportunities for the student with appropriate accommodations to have some ownership in planning and modifications as needed. 18 How-To Using Individual Supports to Customize a Postsecondary Education Experience by Cate Weir With special programs for students with in mind (for example, those with labels provide the student with a document to intellectual disabilities now in place on of autism) and then students with this share with the college that explains the approximately 200 college campuses in label are directed into that program, in- best learning and teaching strategies for the U.S., the opportunities for people dividual supports start with the unique this student’s success. In some instances, with intellectual disabilities to attend needs and desires of the student. A key when a student is under the age of 21 college as part of an organized program difference between programs and indi- and still eligible for their school district’s are greater than they have ever been. vidual supports is the level of choice one support, tutoring, transportation or While a program may offer classes and has of which college to attend. Another classroom assistance may be provided social events specifically for students critical distinction is that individual by the district on the college campus. with intellectual disabilities, and for supports utilize existing college sup- In planning for individual supports many individuals this may be the route port systems, perhaps supplementing for attending college, the person with they would like to go, others may want those with additional services such as an intellectual disability – whether still vocational rehabilitation and other adult in high school or post-high school – and support agencies; but it does not create a a team of people representing both special support system designed only for It is still possible for people with program participants. professional and personal relationships meet to identify challenges the student The essence of individual supports is intellectual disabilities to attend person-centeredness – the student her may face in college and to plan for sup- ports for those areas. Collaboration and or himself is determining the process, a college of their choice, even if a and supports are coordinated by the stu- person-centered planning are both key features of individual supports for col- dent or a person that student picks. This special program does not exist. may be a friend, a case manager, a high lege. The person is supported to attend regular college classes and activities, and school teacher, a vocational rehabilita- supports are provided in much the same tion counselor or a staff person from an fashion as supports are provided to any to go a different route. They may want adult support agency. This method re- student who requires assistance. Key to attend a college that is near to their quires good communication among the considerations in creating individual home or one that offers the courses they people involved in supporting the stu- supports include the following: are interested in even though it does not dent, and that all parties be knowledge- able about how college supports work. • Resource mapping: Identify all re- have a program specifically for them. sources available to the person that It is still possible for people with intel- can offer supports and services to lectual disabilities to attend a college of The Process of Creating Supports assist at college. Examples of resourc- their choice, even if a special program To prepare for college while still in high es that students have used include does not exist. This can be accomplished school, students who receive special vocational rehabilitation services, through the creative use of individual- education services must be assisted to developmental disability agencies, ized, collaborative supports that are develop independence in the use of Medicaid funding, private pay tutors, designed around the unique needs and accommodations they need, be encour- public transportation, college disabil- desires of the student. aged to pursue the academic coursework ity services, Americorps, mentor pro- needed for college courses that they grams on college campuses, family What Are Individual Supports? desire to take, and have the opportunity resources, along with school district to attend college fairs along with their resources for those under age 21. It may be helpful to describe what in- dividual supports are not. They are not peers. Once a student has decided to • Creative use of generic resources: It may predetermined, they are not on a menu attend a particular college, if it is in or not be readily apparent that some to pick from, and they are not pack- near the student’s home community the of the supports a person has can be aged together into anything that would student’s school district can assist him used to attend college. For example, resemble a program. Where programs or her to prepare for entry to that college an adult developmental disability may be developed on a campus with the by including a college support person on agency may offer staff support to a generic needs of a group of students the transition team. The district can also person to do their shopping or learn Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. How-To 19 to clean their apartment; but that • Collaboration and communication: significant disabilities, students with staff support could also be used to Many individuals with intellectual intellectual disabilities are attending help them with homework or learn- disabilities who want to attend col- college in increasing numbers. Here are ing to use the college cafeteria. lege have had less-than-successful ex- some of the supports and strategies stu- • Technology: For individuals with dis- periences when the communication dents are using to make their dreams of abilities technology can be a critical between and among all the players, college come true: support in attending college and can especially college faculty and staff, is • A student who never received a high also offer long-term independence. not effective. For many college per- school diploma took college classes Perhaps the best technology solu- sonnel, their experience with people through the university’s division of tions are devices that all students with intellectual disabilities is lim- continuing education. His successful are using, such as cell phones, smart ited, and their understanding of why completion of college level courses phones, iPods, and computers with people with significant disabilities showed that he was qualified to con- their many applications that can be want to go to college may be lacking. tinue his education. He used support used to help support students on Many students have found it helpful from his family, an adult support campus and improve communication to identify a “champion” on campus. agency, and vocational rehabilitation and personal organization. In addi- That “champion” can help college services in addition to the supports tion, many campuses have technolo- faculty and staff understand the provided to him as a student with a gy centers equipped with special soft- student’s commitment to a college disability through the Access Office ware and hardware to assist students education, help address concerns on campus. with disabilities in their school work, and answer questions, and facilitate collaboration and communication • The state Vocational Rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation services between all involved parties. agency financially supported a young may also be able to help with obtain- woman to meet state licensing re- ing assistive technology to help the • Knowledge of how college differs from quirements by completing two student be more independent. high school: Because a college educa- college courses in child development. • Person-centered planning: With a tion is not a guaranteed right like a The agency paid for professional tu- commitment to planning that puts K-12 education is, there are different toring for the student to supplement the person’s dreams at the center, ways to approach a college. There the peer tutoring available at the it is more likely that the services are things that are not available to college. The student and her tutor and assistance that are designed to students who are not “matriculated” developed grids for the child observa- support their college education are – not admitted fully into the col- tions that were required in her class aligned with the true wishes of the lege certificate or degree programs. that were adopted by all of her class- person. It also opens up the type of Students with intellectual disabili- mates. Child observations had been creative, out-of-the-box thinking that ties often enter the college through a historically difficult area for all stu- effectively supporting a college edu- continuing education divisions and dents, and this approach proved very cation requires. Rather than fitting a classes, rather than through the cer- successful for all students in the class. person into a pre-existing “slot” the tificate or degree application process. Discussions on what courses are • A course of study was individually resources can be aligned with what available, how to register, and how designed for a student interested in that person wants to do. to obtain services from the disability completing a degree that will allow • Coordination: An individual approach her to work in the animal grooming services office all need to take place to services and supports for people field. Together with her academic ad- before the individual attends. Con- with disabilities seeking postsecond- visor, the student was able to design a versations with the college are critical ary education requires someone who major that highlighted her strengths to laying the groundwork and the un- is aware of all the pieces and can and interests. For those classes that derstanding between and among all coordinate them to maximize the were particularly difficult, she au- the people involved, and setting the usefulness of each one. This role can dited the class first, and then took the expectations for everyone involved. be filled by a transition coordinator course for credit, allowing her more at a school district, by a case coordi- time to learn the essential material. nator at an agency, or sometimes by a Conclusion parent. Certainly it is sometimes the Through pre-planning that emphasizes Cate Weir is Project Coordinator for Think student himself or herself who does the goals and dreams of the student, College at the Institute for Community the coordinating. But someone who creative use of existing resources and Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, is always seeing the big picture is a a willingness to challenge assumptions Boston. She may be reached at 603/848- key to success. about the capacity of individuals with 4901 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 20 Profile Not Superwoman: Reflections on Beginning Graduate School by Kira Fisher as told to Donna Carlson Yerby Kira Fisher is a new trainee in the year-long Carolina with a disability to serve in Initial Impressions: The First Weeks Leadership Education in Neurodevelop- AmeriCorps. That experience taught me I initially realized that participating mental Disorders (LEND) program at that even if I failed I could learn from in the LEND program was going to be the Carolina Institute on Developmental challenges. After that, I spent three years harder than I expected. There was a lot Disabilities, University of North Carolina, trying to find a job, but I volunteered already happening in my life because I Chapel Hill. The primary purpose of the during that time with the Acting for was still working on the other project. I program is to prepare professionals for Advocacy Advisory Committee. Even- had to change my transportation (and my cutting-edge leadership roles that will al- tually, I was hired to work on a grant, life) so that I’d be at CIDD one more day low them to participate in improvement of Youths for Advocacy, collaborating with to keep up with everything I had to do. the health status of infants, children, and other self-advocates training high school adolescents who have, or are at risk for, students. developing neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, and their families. She is the first student with a disability to be admit- Becoming a LEND Trainee ted to the North Carolina program. Here, Last spring I was approached about the she describes her perspective one month into opportunity to participate in the LEND the program. program at CIDD. It involves training with a group of other students for two I have been asked why I wanted to be semesters. One requirement of the a trainee in the LEND program at the training is a course, Developmental Dis- Carolina Institute for Developmental abilities Across the Lifespan, and there is Disabilities (CIDD). To answer that also leadership training. question, I need to explain a little about At first I felt honored about being selected, and I got lots of positive feed- back from my family and some of my friends. I was told that this would be a Last spring I was approached about “pilot” and there would be a coach The Leadership Intensive (3-day (a doctoral student in Occupational workshop) was INTENSE all right. We the opportunity to participate in the Science) to work with me. All the train- were told to balance our past experience ees are assigned to mentors and I would with learning new information and hav- LEND program at CIDD. I was have two. Even though I was excited, I ing new experiences. To disconnect from had doubts, too. I didn’t know what it my past was really difficult. My self- told that this would be a “pilot.” would be like. I would have a change image is connected with advocacy and in status from being a supervisor in a I’ve been working in that area for a long program to being a student/trainee, time. The intensive brought up negative my background. Even when I was a and I felt maybe my co-workers were memories and feelings, like “you’ll never kid, I saw my life as being important, not supportive. I already knew one of be able to do that” and “you’ll always although things were hard. I had to deal the mentors, but I was uncertain about need help with anything you do.” I was with lots of personal challenges because working with the other one. I started to confused about the process and going of cerebral palsy and I learned to accept feel more and more anxious and I was through this negative mess. I asked, things in stages and to ask for what I overwhelmed by all the changes – com- “Why am I here?” needed. I guess I had advocacy skills pleting my current employment, having So I had an emotional melt-down and without knowing what that was. to change my schedule, and arranging cried throughout one day. I didn’t want I was in inclusive settings in high transportation. To get started, I had to to continue, but I didn’t quit. My coach school and college and I had to ask for enroll in the course and take some self- and one of the instructors were very accommodations, like using the elevator assessments. I met with my coach and helpful. They listened and reminded (I got my own key). A turning point for mentors, but I didn’t really know at that me that I’m a leader despite what the me was being the first person in North time what I was getting into. outside world might think or how they Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Profile 21 see me, and they assured me that it was That took me a long time and I did it more about other clinical disciplines. I’m okay to feel this way. I also talked to over the weekend. trying to separate my personal feelings other students and found out they were The class went well. The students from my professional goals. going through the same thing, internal- participated and there was a lot of dis- izing, and I hadn’t realized that. I tried cussion. I didn’t expect this to happen to learn through what was happening. but I had an emotional reaction empa- What Challenges Do You Foresee? The week after that the course began. thizing with the person: underlying fears I have personal challenges because of It’s problem-based learning with case of losing my parents and what might the time it takes to complete the course studies and a team approach. I met my happen next, and fear of ending up like requirements and the additional project six group members and got the first that individual. My mentor met with me that all LEND trainees do. There are assignment. My first response was: how later that day and we talked through my unknowns about the course demands am I going to do this because of my emotions. I feel like we are on more of a in the future. I’m using the iPad but it’s physical limitations? When I met with human level now. been a long time since I was a student my coach we discussed accommodations and there’s a lot to do. It’s hard to keep for the class. I couldn’t record anything up with everything. I’m hopeful about Goals and Expectations at This Time because of confidentiality. I decided to balancing learning with self-doubt. learn how to use an iPad. I’m trying to resolve the issue of seeing myself as an advocate. I’ve already made Kira Fisher is now halfway through her that part of my life clear to everyone. LEND trainee program. Her perspective has A Few Weeks Later In this setting, everyone in the course changed to a positive outlook on the process, I offered to be co-facilitator for the case as well as the faculty are advocates for and she is now confident in her experiences study in the first class, which happened people with disabilities. and skills as a leader. Donna Yerby is her to be about cerebral palsy. I met with the I want to listen more. Some people LEND faculty mentor. There are 39 LENDs other student facilitator and we divided with disabilities have a tendency to in 32 states and the District of Columbia the tasks. She did most of the typing on think they need to speak up because oth- funded by the Maternal and Child Health part one, which was reading, answer- ers aren’t listening or don’t understand, Bureau, U.S. Department of Health and ing specific questions, and doing some or because of their previous experiences. Human Services. For information about the research on the Internet. For part two, I Or, like the woman in the case study, LEND at CIDD visit http://www.cidd.unc. typed the additional probing questions. they just shut down. I want to learn edu/Education/ and select “LEND.” Employment and Dual-Enrollment Transition Programs: the retail field; other students were employed in clerical jobs, food services, maintenance, personal Data From a Two-State Study care, and trades. Of those students who completed exit and follow-up surveys, 78% were engaged in In 2004, the Postsecondary Education Research access to community businesses, allowed a large paid employment after they exited the college- Center (PERC) Project, established by TransCen, percentage of the students in these programs to get based transition program. Overall, the students in Inc., collaborated with dual-enrollment transition and keep jobs in their communities. these programs had a relatively high rate of paid programs for students with intellectual or Employment data were collected twice annually employment, and some factors that may have developmental disabilities in Maryland and on all participating students, and upon exit contributed were 1) setting paid employment Connecticut on a study of exemplary practices in from the program. Employment was defined as a goal, 2) time and staff dedicated to job supporting students with intellectual disabilities, as an individual being hired and directly paid development and placement, 3) staff trained ages 18-21, in dual-enrollment programs in competitive wages by a business or employer; in job development strategies, 4) flexible staff postsecondary settings. “Dual-enrollment” therefore, these data did not include volunteer schedules that facilitated spending time building programs are those in which students receive their experiences, unpaid job training or internship relationships with potential employers, 5) flexible final two or three years of public school transition experiences, jobs that had sub-minimum wage or student schedules that allowed them to work a services on a college campus, with most of these stipend pay, or group or enclave work. Between variety of times of day, and 6) a person-centered programs addressing the issue of employment. 2005 and 2009, data collected on 96 students with career discovery process. The Maryland and Connecticut programs shared intellectual disabilities showed 89 employed in a common expectation that the students served paid jobs while they attended the dual-enrollment Adapted with permission from Grigal, M. & Dwyre, A. (October 2010). Employment activities and outcomes of could and would obtain paid employment in the program. The average wage earned was $8 per college-based transition programs with students with community. This belief, backed by trained staff hour and students worked on average 19 hours intellectual disabilities. Insight, 3. Retrieved 1/12/11 from http://thinkcollege.net/about-us/publications and fostered in a context of flexible scheduling and per week. Over half of the students held jobs in 22 Profile Education for Employment: Mandela’s Story by Shelley Paquette and Jenilee Drilling The Employment First Anoka County comprehension. He says that he became program (EFAC), based in Spring Lake interested in the field of health care after Park, Minnesota, was established to fur- one of his uncles died from pancreatic ther the education and employment op- cancer and later his grandmother was tions for youth with disabilities. It focus- diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. He es on assisting students to obtain jobs in wanted to learn more about the diseases the health care field, particularly in the and disorders, their causes, and po- roles of Personal Care Attendant (PCA), tential cures. It was noted in the intake Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and process that his long-term goal was at Home Health Aide (HHA). The program that time to work in medical research. was started through a partnership with Inquiring as to why he chose to par- Anoka Technical College’s corporate ticipate in the EFAC course offering of While pursuing his interest in the training department and Rise Inc., an PCA/CNA/HHA, Mandela responded, health care field, Mandela has decided organization that works with people “You can get in at the ground floor and that he would like to further his educa- with disabilities and other barriers to get a lot of information.” He refers to tion. He is currently enrolled at a com- employment and housing. The EFAC the information and skills that he re- munity college for the courses of Com- program staff consist of a certified ceived in the EFAC courses, mentioning munication and Broadcasting. This is not instructor as well as a student support that it “opened my eyes to a variety of surprising as he is a very outgoing and specialist. The typical class provided by jobs. Before, I felt I could only apply to social individual who has been told “I Anoka Technical College is extended in fast-food type jobs and now jobs would have the gift of talking to people.” While length from 3 weeks to 6 weeks and the be open for me at hospitals and nursing attending school he plans to continue days shortened while still meeting the homes. The EFAC program helped me a working in the health care field. Mandela required classroom hours needed for lot.” The student support staff assisted also has the support of the Minnesota the PCA/CNA/HHA certification. Dur- in classes in various ways; specifically for State Rehabilitation office for addi- ing the classroom portion of the course Mandela the supports were mentoring tional needs he may have while attend- the student support staff is present on and classroom supports regarding his ing school or in his future employment a daily basis to assist with study skills understanding the course and the in- endeavors. and review, college classroom soft skills, structor’s expectations. He also received Mandela had this advice for oth- transportation, and other individualized transportation assistance for the clinical ers who have barriers to employment: needs. Classroom size is limited to no portion of the course, which was located “Don’t let nothing stop you or discourage more than 15 enrollees. Students seek- at a local long-term health care facility. you, stick it through. Whatever you have ing enrollment are referred by school Mandela mentioned that he found the gone through will only make you wiser staff, Minnesota vocational counselors, instructor for the course very helpful and stronger.” He added that “You have or county social services. They range in and able to give him the information he the responsibility to pursue your dreams age from 18-24 and currently receive or needed to further his success. – no one else can do it for you.” He con- at one time received educational services Mandela is currently participating cluded the interview with this thought: guided by an Individualized Education in a work experience program at a day “A caterpillar has to go through the entire Program (IEP). The students are not program for individuals with traumatic cocoon phase by itself. If someone were required to take any type of entrance brain injuries and has received posi- to break open the cocoon, the butterfly exam for the courses offered, though tive feedback from the coordinator of will never be strong enough to fly.” basic reading ability is required. this program. In our conversation, For this article a young man named Mandela expressed his appreciation for Shelley Paquette and Jenilee Drilling are Mandela was asked to share his experi- the supervision and guidance that he is Service Team Leaders with Rise, Inc., Spring ences with the program, and describe receiving from the staff during this work Lake Park, Minnesota. Shelley may be how it has helped him in preparing for experience; though there are no current reached at 763/786-8334 or spaquette@ employment. He was referred to the openings or opportunities for him to be rise.org. EFAC program by his school’s transi- hired at this location, the coordinator tion staff for the Fall 2009 course. He is has expressed that she will be more than identified in his IEP as having a Specific willing to offer a recommendation. Learning Disability for reading and Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Resources 23 Resources for More Information The following resources from around the • Disability.gov (http://www. • CAST (http://www.cast.org). CAST country may be of interest to readers of this disability.gov). Among the extensive is a nonprofit research and develop- Impact issue. resources on this Web site is a section ment organization that works to titled “Preparing for Post-Secondary expand learning opportunities for all • HEATH Resource Center’s Online Education” (http://www.disability. students, especially those with dis- Clearinghouse on Postsecondary gov/education/parent_resources/ abilities, through Universal Design for Education for Individuals with transition_planning/preparing_ Learning. On its Web site is informa- Disabilities (http://www.heath. for_post-secondary_education) that tion for preK–college educators that gwu.edu/). This clearinghouse describes and links to a wide range can be used to maximize learning op- gathers and disseminates informa- of materials and organizations from portunities in diverse classrooms. tion to help people with disabilities reach their full potential through around the country of use to parents, • Going to College (http://www. postsecondary education and train- students, and educators. going-to-college.org). This Web site ing. It carries resource papers, fact • National Collaborative on Work- offers a range of resources for teens sheets, guides, and directories on force and Disability for Youth with disabilities, including tools to topics such as accessibility, career, (http://www.ncwd-youth.info/). identify their strengths and interests, development, classroom and lab This Web site includes extensive learning styles, and goals for college; adaptations, financial aid, indepen- resources for youth and families, information about navigating campus dent living, transition, career-tech- policymakers, agency administrators, life; and steps to prepare for college. nical education, and rehabilitation. educators, and youth service practitio- Resources include online videos Operated by George Washington ners to help them create the context speaking directly to young people. University and the HSC Foundation. for youth with disabilities to succeed. It also has sections for parents and • Association on Higher Education Among the resources is Guideposts for school personnel. It is operated by and Disability (AHEAD) (http:// Success, a publication identifying those the RTC on Workplace Supports and things that all youth need to transition Job Retention at Virginia Common- www.ahead.org). AHEAD is a to adulthood successfully, and the re- wealth University, which also operates professional membership organiza- port Career-Focused Services for Students http:// Worksupport.com, featur- tion for individuals involved in the development of policy and in the with Disabilities at Community Colleges. ing a resource section “Transition to It is based at the Institute for Educa- College.” provision of quality services to meet the needs of persons with disabilities tional Leadership in Washington, D.C. involved in all areas of higher educa- tion. On its Web site is information about its publications, programs, Think College: Promoting College Opportunities for events, activities, affiliates, special interest groups, and membership. Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (http://thinkcollege.net) • DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportuni- Think College is a consortium of federally- of existing national datasets; participatory action ties, Internetworking, and Tech- funded projects dedicated to creating inclusive research by college students with intellectual nology) (http://www.washington. edu/doit/). The DO-IT center postsecondary education as a choice for disabilities; development of standards, quality works to increase the participation students with intellectual disabilities. Through indicators and benchmarks for postsecondary of individuals with disabilities in funding from Administration on Developmental programs; and, as National Coordinating Center challenging academic programs and Disabilities, Office of Postsecondary Education, for Transition Postsecondary Programs for careers. It promotes use of computer and National Institute on Disability and Students with Intellectual Disabilities, evaluates and networking technologies to in- Rehabilitation Research, staff conduct research the 27 program grant recipients. crease independence, productivity, and participation in education and and evaluation, provide training and technical • Training, Technical Assistance, and employment, as well as application assistance, and disseminate information on Dissemination: Conducts a wide range of train- of Universal Design to education postsecondary education for individuals with ing and technical assistance face-to-face, via settings. It has extensive online re- intellectual disabilities, family members, and webinars, and using online learning modules for sources for students with disabilities, professionals. The following are its key activities: a wide array of higher education personnel, adult K-12 and postsecondary educators, • Research: Conducts research including service agencies, K-12 educators and administrators, parents and others, and is based at the University of Washington. national surveys; secondary data analyses legislators, parents, and self-advocates. 24 Continuation [Fialka, continued from page 1] Micah’s case, live in the dorm. At age 19 was he going to take two public buses Listening to the Dream Micah entered the program and through for one and a half hours to a campus? One of the first things we learned as his six years in it grew academically, Feelings are part of all transitions. If we Micah’s parents was to listen to his socially, morally, and politically in dra- don’t acknowledge them, share them dreams, even if they appeared “unusu- matic ways. He studied public speaking, with a trusted person, these emotions al.” Our first experience with the “listen- created Power PointTM presentations on return, often hindering us from moving ing thing” occurred when Micah was in group dynamics, studied the difference forward. It was very important for me his first grade self-contained classroom. between the ways males and females to communicate with a couple of moth- After four months he announced to us, greeted each other in the Student Center ers whose children had disabilities and “I want to go through the same door as for a sociology class, learned to use more were older than Micah. They had lived all my friends.” We were stunned, and hand gestures when speaking, studied through it, survived the transition, and later swayed by his insistence to move social movements, took a hip-hop dance knew what I was feeling and needed to him into a general education classroom. class, traveled to Israel, participated at hear. They understood and validated Micah began to teach us “unusual” does the student leadership retreat, wrote my fears, worries, and even sadness at not imply “impossible.” papers (maybe not 20 pages long but two times. They also celebrated and shared Getting Micah in a general education pages of facts he discovered with the sup- my excitement. My mantra, when I classrooms through 12th grade was a bit port of a peer), and taught students how remember it, is, “Feel the feelings first, challenging. But “college” – that was to use the voice-to-text software program with someone you trust, then move on something entirely different! We had no critical to his communication. “Success” to the next step.” idea how we were going to help him get doesn’t even begin to capture the extent • Support great expectations. This is a through that door. Nonetheless, Micah of his growth, increased friendships and common chorus often repeated in the held steadfast. We were committed to lis- social networks, and enhanced skills to world of disabilities, so much so that tening to him and heard more than just navigate the world. It wasn’t a one-way sometimes it loses its significance and “I wanna go to college.” We began to hear street either. Based on the feedback from meaning. What these three words his unspoken desires like, “Hey, I wanna professors, staff, and students, he made meant to us as Micah’s parents was that be with my friends. I wanna talk about important contributions to his campus we had to believe Micah could learn what they’re talking about. I wanna tell and at several others across the nation. more and do more than what was often everyone what college I’m going to. I In 2010, he received his certificate expected of him. Finding the right sup- wanna go to football games. I wanna from the OPTIONS Program, celebrating ports was vital to achieving those high keep learning.” And maybe most impor- his graduation. He now works in Detroit expectations. “He can do more” became tantly, “I wanna make my own choices.” at the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity a common chant in our family, not in As parents, we shifted our thinking and Inclusion as a social justice educator a way that pressured him (we hoped), (most of the time!) away from someone for youth. He speaks nationally on dis- but in a way that allowed him to build else’s facts and words like “impossible” ability and serves on the board of direc- on what he enjoyed and could do well, and turned toward “what’s the next tors for TASH and the National Youth sprinkled with a little bit of nudging step?” This was often not easy, but always Leadership Network. out of his comfort zone at times. When right, and eventually became a strategy Micah said he wanted to go to college, for dealing with the so-called impossible: Guiding Principles believe me, we never expected that he Keep taking the next step! would eventually share a film about Looking back over the years, several prin- disability history in his class on social ciples guided our actions in supporting movements. We did not know that at Building the Dream Micah’s college dream: the beginning of each new semester, During Micah’s final two years of high • Acknowledge the range of feelings. For he would stand up in class and ask for school, a creative and dedicated group of 12 years, Micah attended public a tutor to help him study (and would college and public school professionals schools. Although some days brought be thrilled that “so many pretty girls” and parents from the metro Detroit area struggles to get him what he needed, came to his assistance). We did not met to consider, and eventually create, the school experience was familiar know that his confidence would soar so an inclusive program through which and predictable. Near the end of his high that he would be able to speak on young adults with intellectual disabilities senior year, I had moments of sheer his own in front of the University could become college students. Now panic as I thought of Micah at col- Board of Trustees to present his case to called the OPTIONS Program at Oakland lege. Would he be safe? Would he be live in the dorm. We did not know that University in Rochester, Michigan, it gave teased? Would he know how to get he would sign-up to travel to Israel students with intellectual disabilities the from one end of campus to another? (gulp), or that he would discover a opportunity to attend classes, participate He wasn’t even comfortable crossing strong desire to read and diligently in extra-curricular activities, and, in a small intersection by himself – how work at it with friends, or that he would Continuation 25 find an interest in money, piqued by • Build relationships with allies and his create a plan, and eventually remem- watching his friends use the on-campus peers. Beginning in 6th grade, Micah ber to not let fear dominate my deci- bank. We did not know that he would invited a few friends to help plan his sion-making and support of Micah. understand the word “norm” and IEP and attend part of every meeting. My husband and I try to minimize the would inform us that it was not “the This involvement of friends continued risks, discuss pros and cons, and prac- norm for college kids to wear boots in into college. At his person-centered tice with Micah the best ways to handle the winter!” He became more capable planning meetings, he always invited awkward or uncertain situations. But, almost by the day. Even brain research a few college peers to participate by ultimately, we realize that overprotec- supports what many parents have bringing real-world solutions and in- tion will only hinder his ability to make known for years: Students with intel- sights into the discussions. They often safer decisions for himself. When this lectual disabilities do not stop becom- came up with the most practical and happened during Micah’s years at col- ing smarter and better problem solvers astute ideas of how to support him. lege, I tried to practice getting more in- once they leave their senior year of When Micah was in college, each year formation from Micah, gaining a sense high school. They continue to increase we invited him and a few of his friends of how he was doing, and if necessary their problem-solving skills and aca- to dinner. We kept the conversations reach out to others. My husband and demic performance if given authentic light, fun, and we listened a lot. We I cannot shelter Micah from all risks, opportunities to learn, embedded in learned so much. Eventually some nor can we do that for our daughter, high expectations. of the peers felt comfortable sharing Emma. Risk-taking comes with the • Be mindful of the changing parental roles. more ideas and questions. I recall territory for all of us. A wise sociologist once told me there one friend asking me how to handle I recently read an article by Sunny are two roles parents assume: one is the Micah’s falling asleep in an early Taylor (2004), an artist with a physical protector and the other is the guide. In morning class. I asked her what she disability, in which she said that too often the early years of raising children, the would do if another friend fell asleep. professionals (and I would add parents) parent defends, cares for, looks after, She quickly said, “I would elbow him equate independence as having “self- and shields the child from harm and and tell him to bring a cup of cof- care skills” such as feeding, dressing, danger. It is easy to see how this role is fee to class.” She instantly “got it” as moving about the community, banking, often more deeply entrenched for par- evidenced in her response to me, “Oh etc. These skills can be important, but ents of children with disabilities. We yeah, I get it. I guess I can do that with they are not the determining factor in learn to be fierce advocates for our chil- Micah too.” Folks need to know that it one’s quality of life. In her words, people dren. As they grow, we are challenged is okay to ask questions and share con- with disabilities define independence to move away from being the constant cerns. Micah learned to tell his tutors, beyond self-care skills as the “...ability protector to being the emerging men- “I’m okay with you asking about my to be in control of and make decisions tor or guide. We had to step back a bit disability. I’ll tell you about it and how about one’s life, rather than doing things and let Micah tell his story, hand in his I learn best.” Fundamental to Micah’s alone or without help.” Twenty years ago un-perfect paper, sign his name at the sense of self was his participation in I don’t think I would have understood doctor’s office, make his choices about organizations led by youth with dis- this definition. I think I do now. Micah what to wear. This re-arranging of abilities, where he experienced disabil- has taught us that the quality of his life roles is not a simple transition. When ity pride and culture. is primarily based on his ability to know Micah ended up stuck at his bus stop • Expect to live with uncertainty and risk. he has choices and can make choices with for two hours 30 miles from home in an I suspect that many parents raising a support. And for Micah making his own evening snow storm that shut down the young adult with a disability have ex- choices has meant going to college (with entire county, I wanted to put on my perienced a similar unsettling internal or without his winter boots!) and it’s been Super-Mom cape, leap over tall snow dialogue that goes something like this. worth the effort and risk for all of us. mountains, and fly him to safety. I “Do I let Micah try new things? If I do, Reference couldn’t. We literally became his guide what if something goes wrong? What Taylor. S. (2004). The right not to work: Power and disability. Monthly (thank goodness for cell phones!). if he gets hurt? Would I have this same Review, 55 (10). We created a plan whereby his father fear if he didn’t have an intellectual called him every 15 minutes as he stood disability? But he does, so what do I Janice Fialka is a national speaker and the in a bus shelter. (He did begin to think do?” I’m not sure this worried-parent Special Projects Trainer of Early On® – differently about the norm of not script will ever cease, but after more Michigan’s Part C Training Program. She may wearing boots after his feet almost than two decades I am somewhat bet- be reached at www.danceofpartnership.com or froze that evening!!). After that experi- ter at expecting these periods of anxi- 248/546-4870. For more on Micah’s journey ence his confidence increased, as did ety. I try to be mindful of them, maybe to learn and live inclusively on a college cam- ours in him. talk with a friend or family member, pus, see http://www.throughthesamedoor.com. Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. 26 Continuation [Grigal, continued from page 5] What Comes Next for students between the ages of 18-21. Current Realities Therefore, school systems may struggle Ongoing and future work in this area with translating meaningful, socially should build upon the early efforts As we embark on this next generation of integrated, transition experiences for of the institutes of higher education, work, the policies, research, and prac- young adults on a college campus into school systems, agencies and individu- tices addressing postsecondary educa- the same IEP framework used for ele- als that created opportunities where tion access for students with intellectual mentary, middle, and secondary special none existed. Emerging programs can disabilities must be developed using a education students receiving services in benefit from their collective experience framework that reflects and adheres to a high school. regarding what worked and what didn’t the legislative guidance provided in the The current research literature on in terms of planning, brokering partner- Higher Education Opportunities Act postsecondary education for students ships, blending resources, and cultivat- while keeping in mind the existing pa- with intellectual disabilities is com- ing authentic learning experiences for rameters set forth by Section 504 of the prised primarily of descriptive studies, students with intellectual disabilities. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II qualitative studies, and some single sub- Part of the next generation of work of the Americans with Disabilities Act. ject and case studies on postsecondary will be conducted by the colleges and On a policy level we need to recognize experiences and outcomes for individu- universities that have been recently that students with intellectual disabili- als with intellectual disabilities (Think awarded Transition and Postsecondary ties will not be supported to consider College, 2010a). There is scant research Education for Students with Intellectual college as a realistic or viable option on evidence-based practices or inter- Disabilities (TPSID) model demonstra- unless the legislative and regulatory ventions for students with intellectual tion grants by the Office of Postsecond- language that guides our secondary disabilities in postsecondary education. ary Education, U.S. Department of special education practices more clearly Why is this? One reason is that there Education (see http://www2.ed.gov/ supports this option. While there is was – and to large extent still is – little programs/tpsid for the grantees list). existing or consistent practice, let alone These 27 projects across the country will evidence-based existing practice. We provide the field with the opportunity The creation of new programs and must recognize that the currently oper- to see how the Higher Education Oppor- ating programs and services in colleges tunity Act regulations can be put into services options for people with for students with intellectual disabilities practice, and will determine the extent have been created without federal or to which practices based upon those pa- intellectual disabilities will depend state legislative or regulatory guidance rameters create and support successful or funding, and thus these practices can outcomes for students with intellectual greatly upon leadership in state be difficult to compare in a meaningful disabilities. way. Additionally, up until very recently, These new model demonstration departments of education, higher there have been extremely limited and projects will deepen our understanding somewhat disjointed efforts to fund any of the structures necessary to imple- education commissions, local school kind of research in this area. ment postsecondary education services, Despite this, over 140 postsecond- and provide some common measures systems, and rehabilitation and ary education options for students with of the experiences and outcomes of stu- intellectual disabilities do exist (Think dents. Yet, sole reliance on these projects disability services agencies. College, 2010b). The existence of these to cultivate and refine our knowledge options demonstrates the power and base around higher education and stu- potential of the early grassroots efforts dents with intellectual disabilities would of institutes of higher education, local be short-sighted. It will be imperative some very brief (and difficult to locate) education agencies, and families to that, as other federal and state agencies language in the preamble to IDEA that offer people with intellectual disabilities or foundations prioritize funds, efforts states that nothing in the law would access to college. These efforts have been are made to engage other two- and four- prohibit a local education agency from revolutionary and in many cases these year colleges and universities, vocational using IDEA funds to support students practices have been ground-breaking. and technical colleges, and local educa- with disabilities in a postsecondary Each of these past efforts should be hon- tion and adult service agencies in a di- environment, there is no clear support ored, but also thoughtfully examined in verse array of research activities. These articulated for funds to be used in that light of the new federal guidelines. efforts will be made all the more fruitful manner. The current IDEA regulations as additional programs and services are also do not differentiate between the IEP developed and implemented across the guidelines and transition expectations country. Continuation 27 This final component of the next and to embrace the uncomfortable chaos of Special Education Programs (OSEP) generation of work – the creation of that comes with not knowing. (for more see http://www.tadnet.org/ new programs and services options for matrix?centers?id=11). Note: No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and people with intellectual disabilities – will Human Services of any product, commodity, service or enterprise referred Families, educators, students, and depend greatly upon leadership at the to in this article is intended or should be inferred. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position others desiring more information about state and local level in state departments of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. the provisions in the HEOA are encour- of education, higher education commis- aged to consult the resources below: sions, local school systems, and rehabili- References National Council on Disability. (2000). Back to school on civil rights. • The U.S. Department of Education tation and disability services agencies. Retrieved 12/21/10 from http://www.ncd.gov/newsroom/publications/ Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/ Collaborative efforts between these enti- 2000/backtoschool_1.htm National Longitudinal Transition Study-2. (2009). NLTS-2 Wave 5 parent/ policy/highered/leg/hea08/index. ties will build and strengthen state net- youth survey data tables. Retrieved 12/21/10 from http://www.nlts2.org/ html works, and allow for the development data_tables/index.html Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Students • The PACER Center Web site at of the systems-level infrastructure and with disabilities preparing for postsecondary education: Know your rights and responsibilities. Retrieved 12/20/10 from http://www2.ed.gov/ http://www. pacer.org/tatra/ communication mechanisms needed about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html TheHigherEducationOpportunityAct. to foster and sustain new partnerships Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. (2010). Discretionary grants public database. Retrieved 12/20/10 from doc and services. Our state and local leaders http://publicddb.tadnet.org/default.asp must take the time to become aware of Think College. (2010a). Literature database. Retrieved 12/21/10 from • The 2010 State of the Art Conference the resources and opportunities that http://www.thinkcollege.net/databases/literature on Students with Intellectual Disabili- exist in their states, identify gaps in Think College. (2010b). Programs database. Retrieved 12/21/10 from http://www.thinkcollege.net/databases/programsdatabase?view= ties Web site, under “Presentations,” services, and establish plans to respond programsdatabase at http://www.sscsid.org/ to the growing need and desire of their Meg Grigal is a Senior Research Fellow with Note: No official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education of constituents with intellectual disabilities any product, commodity, service or enterprise referred to in this article the Institute for Community Inclusion, is intended or should be inferred. Opinions expressed herein are those to access higher education. University of Massachusetts Boston; she of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the U.S. Department of Education. may be reached at email@example.com. Conclusion Debra Hart is Director of Education and References Getzel, E.E. & Wehman, P. (2005). Going to college. Baltimore: Paul H. Training with the Institute for Community Brookes Publishing Co. The next decade will be a very exciting Inclusion; she may be reached at debra. Grigal, M. & Hart, D. (2010). Think college: Postsecondary education op- time as the range of options for post- tions for students with intellectual disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes firstname.lastname@example.org. Sharon Lewis is Commis- Publishing Co. secondary education for individuals sioner of the Administration on Develop- Halpern, A.S., Yovanoff, P., Doren, B. & Benz, M.R. (1995). Predicting with intellectual disabilities continues participation in postsecondary education for school leavers with disabili- mental Disabilities, U.S. Department of ties. Exceptional Children, 62. 151-164. to grow nationwide. We are entering Health and Human Services, Washington, Hart, M. & Grigal, M. (2010). The spectrum of options: Current practice. a new phase of the conversation when In M. Grigal & D. Hart , Think college: Postsecondary education options D.C. She may be reached at sharon.lewis@ for students with intellectual disabilities, (pp 49-86). Baltimore: Paul H. the questions on the table focus less acf.hhs.gov. Brookes Publishing Co. on, “Should students with intellectual Izzo, M. & Lamb, P. (2003). Developing self-determination through disabilities have the option to go to col- career development activities: Implications for vocational rehabilitation counselors. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 19, 71-78. lege?” and more on, “How can students [Shanley, continued from page 9] Neubert, D. & Redd, V. A. (2008). Transition services for students with with intellectual disabilities have the intellectual disabilities: A case study of a public school program on a community college campus. Exceptionality, 16, 220-234. option to go to college?” and “What planning teams. Vocational rehabilita- Rose, D. & Meyer, A. (2002). Teaching every student in the digital age. should these experiences be comprised tion professionals can offer similar kinds Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Develop- ment. of and culminate in?” These questions of support and can work with program Shaw, S.F. (2010). Planning for the transition to college. In S.F. Shaw, will drive the next wave of research, pol- leaders in higher education to determine J.W. Madaus, & L.L. Dukes, (Eds.). Preparing students with disabilities for college success., (pp 257-279). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. icy, and practice. As we seek to answer vocational rehabilitation supports, or Thoma, C., Bartholomew, C. C. & Scott, L. A. (2009). Universal design for them, we will have the chance to apply address topics related to the effects of transition. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co. the lessons we have learned about how varying funding supports, such as Turnbull, H. R., Turnbull, A. P., Wehmeyer, M. L. & Park, J. (2003). A quality of life framework for special education outcomes. Remedial and higher expectations affect the achieve- Social Security for students who may be Special Education, 24, 67-54. ments of and outcomes for people with eligible for Federal student aid. Parents U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. (2007). Topical Brief. Retrieved 10/14/10 from http://idea.ed.gov/ intellectual disabilities in public educa- and families can encourage the devel- explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cdynamic%2CTopicalBrief%2C17%2C tion, employment, and community opment of opportunities for students Zeff, R. (Spring 2007). Universal design across the curriculum. New Direc- tions for Higher Education, 137, Wiley Periodicals, Inc. living to the relatively new arena of with intellectual disabilities at institu- higher education. As our vision of what tions by offering to share information, serve in advisory capacities, and bring Judy Shanley is a former Education is possible for students with intellectual Program Specialist in the U.S. Depart- disabilities expands once more, we will resources from other networks, such as those available through the National and ment of Education, Office of Postsecondary be challenged to move beyond the com- Education, Washington, D.C. She may be fort and relative ease of what we know, Regional Parent Network funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office reached at email@example.com. Retrieved from the Web site of the Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota (http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233). Citation: Weir, C., Fialka, J., Timmons, J., Nord, D., & Gaylord, V. (Eds.). (Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011). Impact: Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities 23(3). [Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration]. Non-Proﬁt Org Institute on Community Integration U.S. Postage 109 Pattee Hall PAID 150 Pillsbury Drive se Minneapolis, MN Minneapolis, MN 55455 Permit No. 155 Address Service Requested Impact In This Issue... Feature Issue on Postsecondary Education and Students with Intellectual, Developmental and Other Disabilities • Students with Disabilities in Higher Education: Volume 23 · Number 3 · Autumn/Winter 2010/2011 Managing Editor: Vicki Gaylord Participating in America’s Future Issue Editors: • A Prelude to Progress: Postsecondary Education and Cate Weir, Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston Students with Intellectual Disabilities Janice Fialka, Huntington Woods, Michigan Joe Timmons, Institute on Community Integration, • How College Benefits Us: Students with Intellectual University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Disabilities Speak Out Derek Nord, Institute on Community Integration, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis • Federal Legislation Increasing Higher Education Impact is published by the Institute on Community Access for Students with Intellectual Disabilities Integration (UCEDD), and the Research and Training Center on Community Living and Employment (RTC), • Key Roles in Planning the Transition to College and College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. This issue was supported, in part, by Grant Careers #90DD0654 from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), US Department of Health and Human • Preparing Students with Intellectual Disabilities for Services to the Institute; and Grant #H133B080005 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation College: Tips for Parents and Teachers Research (NIDRR), US Department of Education, to the RTC. Additional support came from NIDRR Grant #H133A80042, • Using Individual Supports to Customize a ADD Grant # 90DD0659, and Office of Postsecondary Educa- tion, US Department of Education Grant #P407B100002, Postsecondary Education Experience at the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston. • Personal stories, resources, and more The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute, Center or University. The content does not necessarily represent the policy of the US Department of Education or the US Department of Health and Human Services, and endorse- ment by the Federal Government should not be assumed. For additional copies contact: Institute on Community You May be Wondering Why...you’ve received Impact. We mail each issue to our regular Integration, University of Minnesota, 109 Pattee Hall, subscribers plus others whom we think might be interested. If you’d like to receive every issue 150 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 of Impact at no charge, call 612/624-4512 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org; give us your 612/624-4512 • email@example.com • http://ici.umn.edu name, address, e-mail and phone number, and let us know whether you’d like a print copy or e-mail version. This Impact is also online at http://ici.umn.edu/products/impact/233. Impact is available in alternate formats upon request. 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