JUNE 2020

In light of the recent violence against Black people, national and international protests, and an increased awareness about racism and anti-racism, Think College is committed to doing and being better. 

Our community speaks a lot about equality and access for people with disabilities. But we are less outspoken about equality and access for Black people.  And for that to change, we all have some work to do. Read more... 

News from the National Coordinating Center
New Publications -- Additions to the Think College website --  Student Spotlight 

We have several new publications for your review and use: 
  • Based on some small group meetings, these new Tips & Takeaways are useful handouts for college staff working with students with intellectual disability. Currently, there are handouts on supporting students' social & emotional needs, accessing academic content remotely, providing employment supports from a distance, and communicating with families. Get them all here!
  • Looking for some information on ABLE accounts? We have an updated Fast Fact explaining the features of this legislation and how people with disabilities can open tax-advantaged savings accounts to pay for disability related expenses. 
  • Based on the webinar Intentional Inclusion: Cultivating Circles of Support, presenters Janice Fialka and Emma Fialka-Feldman just created a handy Frequently Asked Questions based on the webinar. The webinar and handouts are also archived for easy viewing. 

I f you're looking for distance-learning and COVID-related resources, bookmark this page on our website. We are  regularly updating this page with helpful resources to support educators, families, and others as we continue to social distance and move about the world in new ways. 



We are excited to include this feature in our monthly newsletter!  The Student Spotlight serves as our reminder of why we do the work we do: to educate and inform people that students with intellectual disability should have the opportunity to go to college. Each month, we'll introduce you to a new student who is currently attending college, so you can see how the work we're doing together is changing lives. 

Read on to meet Madison Peavey

Madison with the KU Jayhawk.

What is your name, where are you from, and what college are you attending?
My name is Madison Peavey. I am from Leawood, Kansas. I just graduated from University of Kansas Transition to Postsecondary Education (TPE) and I studied Early Childhood Education. 
What classes did you take, and which was your favorite?
One of my favorite classes was HSES Health & Wellness class. It was cool to learn about health and wellness. Another class I liked a lot was University 101; I got to learn about University of Kansas. It's a class that is strongly recommended for all freshman.
I also took ASL1 and ASL2 class. ASL1 was pretty easy for me. Our professor would post a Zoom video on Blackboard, and then I used an app to practice with classmates. 
In this semester that just ended, I took a children's literature class.  I learned a lot about children's literature, and it went along with my major. 
Do you want to share anything about the switch to distance learning in the middle of your last semester of college? 
It was a pretty smooth transition for me. Everyone has to make a person-centered planning PowerPoint that summarizes academic, social, and career [goals]. It was my final presentation that I did for my parents and Dana and everyone at TPE. There were times that I had so much to do and I got so stressed out. It was overwhelming. I got to meet with academic coaches, who are also students with TPE and that helped. We had to meet on Zoom. I did it myself with help from my mom. 
What did you do to keep busy during the quarantine? 
It took a lot of time getting ready for finals week, studying for my finals. My older brother came to visit from Texas, so I got to spend some time with him. I took some walks to a friend's house.
What positive effects did college have on your life?
I feel like I have become a lot more confident than when I first started at KU. I took some classes at a Johnson County Community College then I transitioned to KU TPE and making the transition from living at home to living in the dorm with a roommate, it was a little hard. It took me a couple of weeks to get used to that because I never lived away from home before. It was nice, I had my younger sister and a cousin to help me out if I had questions about campus or needed other help. I got so much love and support from my family and friends and relatives. They all believed in me.
What do you hope to do, now that you've graduated from KU?
I do want to do something with kids for sure, like a helper in a preschool or a day care, like with 3-6 year olds. I have already had some experience in that area. I had an internship at Language Acquisition Preschool (LAP). I worked with the head teachers and I helped them set out snack with the kids, I helped them with arts & crafts. I also did a couple of book readings for them. That was a really enjoyable experience for me.
What advice do you have for students with disabilities who want to go to college, and their families?
I would probably say that if you could go through 2-4 years of college at a certain program, to make as many memories as you possibly can. I made memories that I will have forever. Find something that really interests you and find classes or find a job or internship or a club that you think would be a fun thing to do. Have as much fun as you can. 
What's a highlight from your time at KU TPE? 
I lived in GSP [a dorm]. During that time, I got nominated for and received the Kenneth L. Stoner award for resident of the year for GSP. That award was for always having a positive attitude, being present and engaging, and connecting with everyone on my floor.

T hanks to Madison for taking the time to share about her experiences in college! 

What's going on in Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disability around the US...

The Request for Proposals for a new round of TPSID (Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities) funding has been posted on the Federal Register. These grants are for Institutes of Higher Education to establish or expand model demonstration projects for inclusive higher education. Applications are due July 10, 2020

Last week, Millersville University hosted  a film premiere of Opening Doors to College, a film by Dan Habib, highlighting  educational, social, and self-determination strategies of inclusive higher education at Millersville and Temple Universities. Watch the trailer now, and visit the PA Inclusive Higher Education Consortium website to get more information. 


Have you seen the latest news from Maryland? The
Maryland Hub for Inclusive Higher Education was established at the University of Maryland College Park, Center for Transition and Career Innovation ( CTCI ). The Hub's mission is to inform, share, connect, train, and support stakeholders of Inclusive Higher Education programming for Maryland young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who want to experience college. 

Click here  to find out what's going on in YOUR state!

Two Opportunities to Assist in Postsecondary Education Research

STUDENTS: You are invited to participate in a research study to understand your motivation and participation in physical activity. The study is being done by Dr. Deborah Shapiro and Myung Ha Sur at Georgia State University. You do not have to be actively involved in sport or physical activity to complete this survey. The survey will take 10 minutes or less of your time. By participating in the survey, you will have a chance to win a $20 Amazon e-gift card. A total of 10 winners will be selected after the completion of the study.
You must be 18 years or older to participate in the study and the raffle. Please click here to the consent form and the survey.  If you have any questions about the survey, please contact to Myung Ha Sur at (815) 761-2399 or  msur1@student.gsu.edu.

PROGRAM STAFF:  As part of a dissertation at the University of South Alabama, Hameedullah Mirza, a student in Instructional Design and Development, is doing a survey of how postsecondary programs at colleges and universities use various technologies (particularly virtual reality) and training approaches to help students with intellectual disabilities navigate campus transit/shuttle systems. The survey is being used to provide additional data that can help inform pilot work on a VR application that was under development for PASSAGE USA prior to the COVID-19 crisis. 

The link to the survey is here. The survey should take around 10 minutes to complete. If you could provide the link to the person who is most knowledgeable about this issue in your program that would be greatly appreciated.   

News from the NCC Partners 

The #AUCD2020 conference going virtual. Achieving Equity: Leading the Way in the Next Decade will happen December 7-9, 2020 completely online. Watch the AUCD website for updates on the schedule and more.

AUCD is gathering stories from people with disabilities about how COVID-19 is effecting their lives. These stories will be shared with Congress to ensure they are aware of what's going on in the disability community. Guidance and sample scripts are available on the AUCD website. Be sure to include the hashtag #WhatWeNeed.

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PACER has numerous upcoming webinars and workshops, on topics like apps, assistive technology, cultural and linguistic diversity, and more. There is also a substantial archive of recorded materials. Check it out!

As a leading source of information for families of students with disabilities, PACER has compiled an extensive list of resources related to COVID-19, some translated into Spanish, Hmong, and Somali.

AHEAD logo_ with Association on Higher Education and Disability
The annual AHEAD conference will be delivered virtually this year, July 6-23. Visit the Equity & Excellence 2020: A Virtual Event website to register for events and sessions, get a detailed schedule for the conference, and more.