Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Higher Ed and National Service: Making the Connection

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Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Higher Ed and National Service: Making the Connection

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1. Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in Higher Ed and National Service: Making the Connection Molly Boyle October 1, 2009

2. Corporation for National & Community Service Information on the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS): A federal agency established in 1993 and reauthorized in 2009 with the passage of the Kennedy Serve America Act to provide opportunities for ALL Americans to give back to their communities through service and volunteering CNCS mission is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering Structured volunteer service opportunities are provided through three major programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Initiatives to be established with the Serve America Act reinforce CNCS’ commitment to the inclusion of individuals with disabilities Handout Link to Kennedy Service ActHandout Link to Kennedy Service Act

3. Why Volunteer Through a National Service Program In addition to the many benefits, participants who volunteer in a National Service program are eligible to receive: A living stipend An education award Health insurance, as needed Child care benefits, as needed

5. “…ensure that students of different ages, races, sexes, ethnic groups, disabilities, & economic backgrounds have opportunities to serve together” “…includes as participants youths and young adults who are age 16 through 25, including …youth who are individuals with disabilities” “…collaborate with org’s with demonstrated expertise in supporting and accommodating individuals with disabilities, including institutions of higher education, to increase the number of participants with disabilities.” “provide and disseminate information regarding methods to make service-learning programs and programs offered under the national service laws accessible to individuals with disabilities”

6. To help an individual decide which national service program is best suited to their needs, go to: http://www.nationalservice.gov/for_individuals/ready/selector.asp or http://www.americorps.gov/for_individuals/choose/index.asp or President Obama’s newest site: http://www.serve.gov 2009 Kennedy Service Act proposes to increase the number of AmeriCorps members from 75,000 to 275,000 in the next 5 years Copy or link to the HEART Act of 2008 See www.nationalservice.gov for details on each program2009 Kennedy Service Act proposes to increase the number of AmeriCorps members from 75,000 to 275,000 in the next 5 years Copy or link to the HEART Act of 2008 See www.nationalservice.gov for details on each program

7. Connecting Through the National Service Inclusion Project (NSIP) The ICI at UMass Boston manages the National Service Inclusion Project [NSIP] Please go to: www.serviceandinclusion.org for extensive information on the Corporation’s disability inclusion initiatives Contact information: Paula Sotnik, Director [email protected] 1-888-491-0326 2009 Kennedy Service Act proposes to increase the number of AmeriCorps members from 75,000 to 275,000 in the next 5 years Copy or link to the HEART Act of 2008 See www.nationalservice.gov for details on each program2009 Kennedy Service Act proposes to increase the number of AmeriCorps members from 75,000 to 275,000 in the next 5 years Copy or link to the HEART Act of 2008 See www.nationalservice.gov for details on each program

8. Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 Improve access to post-secondary education for students with intellectual disabilities including: ?New eligibility for Financial Aid Model Demonstration Programs ?Coordinating Center The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) (PL 110-315) was enacted on August 14, 2008 and it reauthorizes the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965. This law contains a number of important new provisions that will improve access to postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. Of particular note are several provisions that address financial aid and create a new model demonstration program and coordinating center for students with intellectual disabilities.The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) (PL 110-315) was enacted on August 14, 2008 and it reauthorizes the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965. This law contains a number of important new provisions that will improve access to postsecondary education for students with intellectual disabilities. Of particular note are several provisions that address financial aid and create a new model demonstration program and coordinating center for students with intellectual disabilities.

9. Definition from HEOA The term “student with an intellectual disability” means a student: with mental retardation or a cognitive impairment, characterized by significant limitations in intellectual and cognitive functioning; and adaptive behavior as expressed in conceptual, social, and practical adaptive skills; and who is currently, or was formerly, eligible for a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

10. THREE FEDERALLY FUNDED PROJECTS Research, training/technical assistance and model demonstration related to increasing access to postsecondary education for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities    These projects are all focused on access to postsecondary education for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Moreover, these projects will provide new research-based knowledge about the types of outcomes (employment, independent living, continued postsecondary education access) available for students with intellectual disabilities, as well as collaborate with a wide dissemination network.These projects are all focused on access to postsecondary education for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. Moreover, these projects will provide new research-based knowledge about the types of outcomes (employment, independent living, continued postsecondary education access) available for students with intellectual disabilities, as well as collaborate with a wide dissemination network.

11. What does access to college mean? The pathways may be different, but the benefits are similar for all students. As for all individuals, service can fit into a number of places on the pathway to and from college. We know that people who have had both access to the general curriculum and high expectations are more likely to be employed as adults. Keeping college in the mix of possibilities as our sons and daughters explore which steps to take after high school says that we believe in their potential for success. Why not college? We know that people who have had both access to the general curriculum and high expectations are more likely to be employed as adults. Keeping college in the mix of possibilities as our sons and daughters explore which steps to take after high school says that we believe in their potential for success. Why not college?

12. This graphic shows both the traditional pathway to college and an alternate pathway. There are many places in this path that may find a place for Service, whether it is before they begin college, during the college experience, as a means of funding the college course work. Or following college vocational interest area identified by a post-secondary experience.This graphic shows both the traditional pathway to college and an alternate pathway. There are many places in this path that may find a place for Service, whether it is before they begin college, during the college experience, as a means of funding the college course work. Or following college vocational interest area identified by a post-secondary experience.

13. What are the benefits for individuals with intellectual disabilities? Gained content area skills (e.g., computer skills) that relate to employment Developed new life and self-advocacy skills Learned to travel independently (some students utilized public transit for the first time in their lives) Created opportunities for students to consider attending college after high school, for individuals who believed post-secondary education was not in their future Achieved significant improvements in self esteem Encouraged participation in the community In sum: Promoted academic, employment, social, and functional skills of students with severe disabilities As for others, the benefits of attending college for individuals with intellectual disabilities can be measured in their growth in a number of areas, including academic and personal skill building, independence, self-advocacy, and self-confidence and new friendships. For individuals with disabilities, this growth is also reflected in increased self-esteem, when they begin to see themselves as enjoying what their same age peers without disabilities are experiencing. Being part of campus life, taking classes (whether auditing or for credit), joining student organizations, and learning to navigate a world of high expectations leads to the development of skills and confidence needed for successful adulthood. In sum: Promoted academic, employment, social, and functional skills of students with severe disabilities As for others, the benefits of attending college for individuals with intellectual disabilities can be measured in their growth in a number of areas, including academic and personal skill building, independence, self-advocacy, and self-confidence and new friendships. For individuals with disabilities, this growth is also reflected in increased self-esteem, when they begin to see themselves as enjoying what their same age peers without disabilities are experiencing. Being part of campus life, taking classes (whether auditing or for credit), joining student organizations, and learning to navigate a world of high expectations leads to the development of skills and confidence needed for successful adulthood.

14. Model Practices for Higher Education Inclusion Person Centered Planning ?Universal Design ?Mentoring Coaching Self-advocacy & Independence ?Local and/or Regional Cross Agency Coordinating Team ?Creative and Collaborative Funding Competitive Employment Preview left-hand column, Highlight right column Preview left-hand column, Highlight right column

15. When planning to support people with intellectual disabilities to attend college, a critical first step is the provision of Person Centered Planning (There are many names for this process, such as Futures Planning, etc.) This process helps to identify the dreams and goals that the person has, and what supports (natural and formal) they may need to reach their dreams. By starting with a person centered plan, and using that plan to guide and structure what the person does next, you can assure that services and supports are focusing on strengths and capacities, and that the postsecondary initiative is planning supports based on what the person wants, rather than on what is available or what seems reasonable. Person Centered plans may happen in high school, higher ed or by transition support specialists. Voc Rehab, developmental disability councils and independent living centers may assist with PCP’sWhen planning to support people with intellectual disabilities to attend college, a critical first step is the provision of Person Centered Planning (There are many names for this process, such as Futures Planning, etc.) This process helps to identify the dreams and goals that the person has, and what supports (natural and formal) they may need to reach their dreams. By starting with a person centered plan, and using that plan to guide and structure what the person does next, you can assure that services and supports are focusing on strengths and capacities, and that the postsecondary initiative is planning supports based on what the person wants, rather than on what is available or what seems reasonable. Person Centered plans may happen in high school, higher ed or by transition support specialists. Voc Rehab, developmental disability councils and independent living centers may assist with PCP’s

16. Universal Design Consider the needs of the broadest possible range of users from the beginning. Thus, improving access to college and work for individuals with disabilities improves access for all. Examples may be providing audio formats for all students; visual representation of key conceptsExamples may be providing audio formats for all students; visual representation of key concepts

17. Coaching Job Coach, Educational Coach, Life Coach, Mentors: all these titles describe a similar role that can help students with intellectual disabilities. Coaches are sometimes described as detectives & anthropologists, identifying a variety of strategies and methods which will allow the person to be a valued and accepted student/worker, with the absolute minimum of support provided directly by the coach. For many people with intellectual or other developmental disabilities, there may be the need for supports above and beyond what is available through the college and its disability services office and tutoring center. While it is important to take advantage of the natural supports already available on the college campus, when more is needed, an "educational coach" can be a valuable addition to the team. With the support of an educational coach, many students with intellectual/developmental disabilities have been successful in typical college courses.For many people with intellectual or other developmental disabilities, there may be the need for supports above and beyond what is available through the college and its disability services office and tutoring center. While it is important to take advantage of the natural supports already available on the college campus, when more is needed, an "educational coach" can be a valuable addition to the team. With the support of an educational coach, many students with intellectual/developmental disabilities have been successful in typical college courses.

18. How coaches can support success Help individuals to understand themselves as learners Help individuals to understand and express their support needs Teach individuals how to advocate for themselves Work towards the inclusion of individuals into typical community settings Utilize the available natural supports Provide the absolute minimum supports possible Fade support over time

19. Planning Tool One way for students to establish a working relationship with an educational coach might be to use a tool such as thing one that highlights specific occurrences when a student might need support from a coach. In using this tool, the student determines what responsibilities he or she will assume or learn to assume, and what support they would like the education coach to provide. It is important that individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have a voice in their own lives. As students transition into adult life and postsecondary education, self-determination and self-advocacy skills become paramount, allowing individuals to direct their own services and supports and plan for their own futures. One way for students to establish a working relationship with an educational coach might be to use a tool such as thing one that highlights specific occurrences when a student might need support from a coach. In using this tool, the student determines what responsibilities he or she will assume or learn to assume, and what support they would like the education coach to provide. It is important that individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have a voice in their own lives. As students transition into adult life and postsecondary education, self-determination and self-advocacy skills become paramount, allowing individuals to direct their own services and supports and plan for their own futures.

20. This page has a link to the Think College Site. This page summarizes previous points with the emphasis on the individual support model. Go through model---explain it so folks can answer: How does could this model relate to including an SWID in Service.This page has a link to the Think College Site. This page summarizes previous points with the emphasis on the individual support model. Go through model---explain it so folks can answer: How does could this model relate to including an SWID in Service.

21. Resources Think College: www.thinkcollege.net Equity and Excellence in Higher Education: www.eeonline.org National Service Inclusion Project: - Fact Sheet on the SEGAL AmeriCorps Education Award http://www.serviceandinclusion.org/index.php?page=conf_08 Non-traditional Uses of the Education Award: http://encorps.nationalserviceresources.org/resources/getting_the_most_from_the_education_award/nontraditional_ed_award_uses.php The Edward M. Kenedy Serve America Act of 2009: http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/serveamerica/index.asp Molly Boyle: [email protected] 617.287.4307

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