September 2020: News from the National Coordinating Center
Here’s hoping everyone had a safe and happy summer. It’s good to be back, and we have plenty to share; we have been busy!

  • We’ve added a new Affinity Group on Employment Services for those who want to contribute to the discussion of ways to facilitate meaningful employment opportunities for students with ID in postsecondary education environments.

  • If you’re looking for some new publications, you’re in luck; these are hot off the press! We’re introducing the Plain Language Series with four publications on WIOA, federal financial aid for college, FERPA, and the ABLE Act. There’s also a new Student Profile about Brendon and his experience with college-based transition services. Read it and find out how Brendon set goals to go to college, study to become a zoologist, and practice independent living skills-- and he achieved all his goals!

  • We held our first virtual TPSID (Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability) Project Director Meeting in July, and it went pretty well, if we do say so ourselves.... One of the benefits of meeting virtually is that we recorded all the sessions and now they are available to you. Check out this listing of presentations on a wide range of topics such as student supports, program development, UDL, peer mentors, policy, and more.

  • There’s a brand new journal article by Clare Papay and Beth Myers (Syracuse University) in the Journal for Inclusive Postsecondary Education. Clare & Beth wrote about how inclusive higher education has been effected by COVID-19. They review academics, social inclusion, employment, and more. Read the article here, or review the entire issue here.
This month's Student Spotlight is Deriq!

What is your name, where are you from, and what college are you attending?
My name is Deriq Graves, I’m from Atlanta GA, and I’m going to IDEAL at Georgia State University. This is my second year. 
What classes are you taking, and which is your favorite?
The classes I’m taking right now are dramatic screen writing class and acting class. The dramatic screen writing is my favorite. I want to be an actor and a fictional story writer. I did write one story, I was in a screenwriting class last semester. I had to write a 5-page paper about it.

What do you like to do in your spare time? 
I like to watch stuff on Netflix and play video games. 

What’s good about college? (Like, what positive effects does it have on your life?)
Being able to go there and walk around campus and meet different people and make some forever lasting friendships. In high school, I had a nice time. My last year of high school, that was pretty fun. I was in an acting class. I was in an acting competition and I made it to the state semi-finals.

What do you hope to do after college, when you graduate or get your certificate? 
I hope to be voice actor, like for animated movies and shows, and work my way up to tv shows and movies. I wouldn’t mind doing plays either.
What advice do you have for students with disabilities who want to go to college?
I would recommend they go to college and work hard to accomplish their dreams and not be afraid to dream big and work for it. 
What about parents of students of students with disabilities, do you have advice for them?
Listen to their kids and try to see things from their side of the story. 
If you could have one super-power, what would it be? It would probably be to teleport. And where would you go? A nice tropical place like Hawaii, a nice beach somewhere. 

I would like to share two people who helped encourage me on the road so far in life… she is an IDEAL manager, Miss Spenser, and Miss Scott who was my high school teacher, my drama teacher. She encouraged me to work hard and keep at it with acting. 

Thanks to Deriq for his time and willingness to share a bit about his college experience.

What's going on in Higher Education for Students with Intellectual Disability around the US...
The annual State of the Art Inclusive College Fair will be held virtually this year on October 7, 6-8pm. This event is free and open to all students with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are interested in learning more about inclusive higher education opportunities across the country. (Colleges: register today to exhibit!)

The College Fair is part of the Student Leadership Conference, happening virtually on October 8 & 9, 12-4:30pm. Students in high school or out of high school who are interested in college are welcome, as are students already in college. Registration is free; sign up today!
New Program: beginning in the Fall of 2020, UNH-4U will host, for the first time, UNH-4U Bridges: An Online Training Series Toward College and Career. UNH-4U Bridges prepares young adults for higher education, independent living, and careers through three, 10-week virtual trainings. Find out eligibility requirements and how to register here.
Are you looking for a big school or small school? East Coast, out West, or down South? Public or private? Whatever you want to explore, you will have the chance over the next few weeks. Check out all these open houses! (And if you haven’t already, consider utilizing our How to Conduct a College Search guide for families.)

CarolinaLIFE at University of South Carolina is holding an Open House on October 1 at 6pm. You must register to attend. More information about CarolinaLIFE can be found here, including how to apply, costs, focus areas, and more.

ACCESS at Mississippi State University, an inclusive 4-year, non-degree program for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities, will be holding a Virtual Preview Day on Friday, October 2. Find out more about ACCESS and register for the preview day today.

At University of Cincinnati Transition and Access Program (TAP), students live, work, learn, and lead. There are several options to attend a Virtual Information Session (the next one is October 7) or chat with a TAP Ambassador (next chance is October 22). Find out all the ways to explore TAP here.

SUCCEED at University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) is hosting several Open Houses this fall, with the first one on October 10. Find out more about SUCCEED, a two-year residential or commuter program, and sign up for the Open Houses here.

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) College and Career Studies (CCS) Program is holding a virtual open house on October 18, from 10am-12pm. Find out more about CCS: coursework, internship and career development opportunities, campus involvement, housing options, and social activities. Register for the open house at this link!

There is an Open House at Aggie ACHIEVE at Texas A&M University on October 23 at 2pm-4pm. You can register at this link, find out the schedule for the event, and navigate around the website to learn more about Aggie ACHIEVE, a comprehensive transition program (CTP) for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have exited high school.

The UL LIFE (Learning Is For Everyone) Program at University of Louisiana Lafayette is a highly personalized program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. They are holding a Virtual Preview Day on October 24. To register, please send an email.

Bear POWER (Promoting Opportunities for Work, Education and Resilience) at Missouri State University will be holding a Fall Open House on November 7. Register for the open house today, and learn more about this two-year, five-semester inclusive college program for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Also, the following programs are accepting applications now:

Applications are currently being accepted for Aggies Elevated at Utah State University; they must be postmarked by November 3. Find out about all aspects of Aggies Elevated by visiting the program website.

SEU Link at Southeastern University in Florida, a small Christian university, is one of the only faith-based universities to offer an inclusive higher education program-- and they’re now accepting applications! Find out more here.
AUCD and other disability organizations are working together to educate people about the importance of voting by sharing resources, getting people registered, and supporting voters in navigating the planning processes. Share why YOU vote!

The 2020 Annual Conference will be held virtually, December 7-9. This year’s theme is Achieving Equity: Leading the Way in the Next Decade. Find out more about the conference, what is planned, and how to attend.
Don’t miss this upcoming workshop on September 30, Assistive Technology to Increase Independence for Young Adults with Disabilities. Presenters will explore tools for independence, including devices and apps for time management, tasks, medications, money, meals, transportation, and communication. Register today.
The Accessing Higher Ground conference on Accessible Media, Web and Technology will be held virtually this year, November 9-19. The complete scheduled, registration, and more can be found on the conference website.

Do you have news or an update to share?
It could appear in the next newsletter. Please get in touch!

Rebecca Lazo
Knowledge Translation Associate
Think College National
Coordinating Center
Institute for Community Inclusion