“Think College”: Higher Ed Opportunities for Students with Disabilities
Until recently, youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities have not had many chances to go to college. This is changing as individuals and organizations across the country begin to create opportunities for these youth to reap the benefits of postsecondary education. A new resource for parents, teachers, and students to use in thinking about postsecondary education for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities is “Think College.”
“Think College” is a set of resources – including a Web site, newsletter, research projects, and publications – being developed by a consortium of organizations that includes the Institute for Community Inclusion (University of Massachusetts, Boston), Institute on Community Integration (University of Minnesota), Center on Disability Studies (University of Hawaii at Manoa), Center for Disability Studies (University of Delaware), Nisonger Center (The Ohio State University), Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (Vanderbilt University), Center for Disability Resources (University of South Carolina), Tarjan Center (UCLA), and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. Funded by a grant from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities to the Institute for Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts, Boston, “Think College” brings together these researchers and resources from around the country to support access to, and success in, postsecondary education for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Its Web site – www.thinkcollege.net – provides information and links for students, family members, and professionals about college opportunities, and features the following:
- A searchable database of postsecondary education programs that support youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- The Think College! e-newsletter.
- A resource section that contains links to other sites, a collection of student stories, and a bibliography of related publications.
In the coming weeks and months additional resources will be added, such as searchable databases of related literature and training and technical assistance materials, and new resources for families and students.
The site seeks as well as shares information: Site visitors are invited to submit contact information about programs or services in their colleges, school systems, or geographic areas that support college opportunities. Suggestions for additional links and publications are also welcome.
“There are hundreds of postsecondary programs that support young people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, but they haven’t gotten publicized. This initiative will help to change that,” says Joe Timmons, who, along with Shari Barr, are ICI’s staff members working with “Think College.” They edit the Think College! e-newsletter, assemble research briefs, and assess postsecondary programs for inclusion on the Web site.