Whether you work in education, disability services, or human services in general, your knowledge of postsecondary resources can impact opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities. Postsecondary experiences may be available for students still in high school, may be pursued as a program with residential and independent living components, or may be based upon individualized, existing opportunities at institutions of higher education.
The Supported Higher Education Project is based upon the following keys to success:
Postsecondary options for students with intellectual disabilities should be as inclusive as possible. This means supports are provided so that students with and without intellectual disabilities learn together in regular college, community college, and technical college courses, in regular work co-op programs, as well as in extracurricular and intramural activities. Supports may includeindividual academic and vocational tutorials, instruction in community and independent living skills, and assistive technology supports. Such an approach builds a solid foundation for students to grow academically and socially, preparing for satisfying and challenging employment as well as other aspects of a full life.
Admissions policies should also be as inclusive as possible. Narrowly defined academic requirements may well exclude some students who would clearly benefit from those programs.
It’s time to act! We recognize that higher education no longer exists with only ‘traditional’ students. We must promote higher education that supports diversity and improved economic outcomes. Higher education opens the door to opportunity for all.