June 2021 News from the National Coordinating Center
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Time to relax!
Summer’s here. While not everyone will get to spend lazy days sipping lemonade by the pool, we hope you enjoy some relaxation and fun time with the people you love.

The NCC newsletter will be back in September. But don't worry, we’re leaving you with some terrific summer reading!
New Publications
NCC is pleased to announce the publication of two important reports.

First, the Report on Model Accreditation Standards for Higher Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability: Progress on the Path to Education, Employment, and Community Living was recently submitted to Congress and the U.S. Department of Education. You can also find an Executive Summary and the Model Standards. Learn more about the implications of these new publications here.  
We also completed the Annual Report of the Cohort 2 TPSID Model Demonstration Projects (Year 5, 2019–2020). This report includes data on programs and students from the final year of the cohort 2 model demonstration projects, and includes information on the impact of COVID-19. There is also an Executive Summary available.

Also available: Did you know that DD councils provide diverse forms of support for inclusive higher education programs, including direct funding for programs, technical expertise, and support for coalition-building and advocacy? It's true! Learn more in this new brief. 
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Session 4: Lessons Learned from a Decade of Data  
Profile images of presenters. Meg Grigal, a  woman with mid-length blonde hair and blue eyes.  Clare Papay with auburn hair, a blue shirt, and a big smile.
The NCC has been collecting program and student data from Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disability (TPSIDs) since 2010. These data provide insights about how inclusive higher education helps students achieve their desired outcomes of academic inclusion and paid integrated employment. Join us to hear Meg Grigal and Clare Papay share what the NCC has discovered from 10 years of data collection and evaluation.

WHEN: June 29, 2021 3:00-4:00pm ET 

Just added!
Session 5: Getting it Right AND Learning on the Fly: Prepared for College? PART 2
Profile images of presenters. Dee Sapp is smiling wearing a black jacket in front of a bright green wall. Kathy Becht is also smiling. She has glasses and dark hair.
Picking up where they left off, Kathy Becht and Dee Sapp will discuss what they thought they knew and what they learned on the fly while preparing their sons with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to go to college.

WHEN: Jul 15, 2021 7:00-8:00pm ET

NCC Project Advisory Committee
On May 19, the NCC held its first Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting, bringing together leaders from organizations who contribute to our mission of increasing expectations and expanding opportunities for people with intellectual disability to access higher education. Our project advisors will help the NCC achieve the broadest possible dissemination, extending its impact and ensuring its resources, training, and information are available to those who need them the most. Check out the members of this important group and look forward to regular updates on activities of the PAC.
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What can the NCC do for Families and Educators?
We created this 2-page handout highlighting our favorite resources and services available to families and educators. Use it for yourself or consider sharing it during your next meeting.
Inside Think College Blog
Photograph of Stephanie and her daughter Laura.
Looking Back and Looking Forward: A Personal Perspective on How Accreditation Standards will Improve Inclusive Higher Education
By Stephanie Smith Lee

Almost twenty years ago, Stephanie's daughter, who has Down syndrome asked where she would go to college. That question changed the landscape for students with intellectual disability. Read her blog post to learn more.

“My disability doesn’t define me.”
By Liz Weintraub

As a person with a disability, I was never taught how to speak up for myself. People assumed I would do what they wanted me to do. In the disability community, there’s a saying that people with disabilities take to heart: “nothing about us without us”. That phrase isn’t just a phrase to me. I take the phrase very seriously, as do my friends. To us, that means, if there’s discussion about us, we need to be at the “table” to be involved in the discussion.

News from other Think College projects
A colorful cartoon graphics of children with disabilities on a tropical island.
Do you teach grades 3-5? You could participate in a research study using a game-based college & career curriculum.

Future Quest Island-Explorations, a game-based college & career curriculum that focuses on STEMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Service/Trade) careers, self-concept, and social-emotional competence.

To learn more about the curriculum and the study, please visit www.fqie.net.
June Student Spotlight: Peach Chinratanalab
Student spotlight June 2021. Peach is a young woman with long black hair and glasses. In this photo, she is smiling and leaning forward in her wheelchair. She is outdoors. It is a very nice photo.
What is your name, where are you from, and what college did you attend?
My name is Pisanach Chinratanalab. People call me Peach. I was born in Tennessee, and my family is from Thailand. I graduated from Next Steps at Vanderbilt University on May 2, 2021.
What classes were your favorite?
I would say Transition to Adulthood was my favorite class. I’ve always wanted to be around kids with disabilities, like I have been working with Best Buddies since high school. That helped me get internships at places like the Susan Gray School at Vanderbilt - Kennedy Center.

What would you say the best part of college was?
I got to attend in-person events, I was involved with different clubs, I loved going to student-led organization concerts (music is my favorite thing in the world) and going to football games (even though I don’t like sports). Also, I learned how to be an advocate for myself in college.

What was the best advice you got while you were in college?
“Have fun while you’re at it, cause this moment is not going to last forever.” Also, “speak up for yourself.”

Can you share anything about how COVID effected your college experience or your life, in general?
In terms of work, I was put on hold until now. All the classes were online, [even] People First and Best Buddies events were all online. It was hard to stay focused because the phone kept ringing, and everyone talks all at once and the teacher was trying to say something and you can’t get anything done. But I liked that I could hang out with my family, even more than I did before COVID.

What do you hope to do after college?
I’ve had a lot of paid and unpaid work experiences but now I work at Bubble Love Nashville (a bubble tea shop inside the Nashville Farmers’ Market) where I do customer service and marketing, so I help customers and I do marketing to teach people about bubble tea. I will keep doing volunteer work with The Arc of Tennessee, DIDD, Disability Rights Tennessee, AUCD, Best Buddies, and Davidson County Chapter of People First (as vice president).
Actually, I am the co-chair of The Arc of Tennessee Transportation Committee, which I started. We deal with the issues that most people face is “how can I get to work? How can I get to school? Is there a bus that’s wheelchair accessible? Is my car accessible?” I work with Dylan and we do research on different modes of transportation and transportation companies, we contact them, and review steps to make sure transportation is accessible to people with different abilities.
Finally, can you tell us something about yourself unrelated to school or work? Like, what is your favorite food? Growing up in my family, my favorite foods are Chinese and Thai. There’s also a Southern influence and I put my own American twist on things. I love learning new things about cooking from different cultures.
What's going on in higher education for students with intellectual disability in the US
Graphic image for the NDSC college fair.
Think College is happy to partner with the NDSC for their Virtual College Fair held June 21-26. Learn more and register. In addition to the dedicated College Fair session, all registered colleges will be in the Virtual Exhibit Hall for attendees to visit during convention week and for 90 days afterward.
A Glimpse of SRV: Putting the Inclusive into Postsecondary Inclusive Education
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Pennsylvania Inclusive Higher Education Consortium is holding a 2-day introductory course on the basics of social role valorization. People who serve, support, and envision inclusive postsecondary experience, for and with, people with disabilities are invited to attend. Sessions run Monday, June 28, 8:30 am -12:00 pm and Wednesday, June 30, 8:30 am -12 pm.
STEM survey for postsecondary program for individuals with I/DD
The University of Cincinnati is asking employees of a postsecondary program to take a short research survey. The survey is specifically about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities for individuals I/DD but please complete it even if your program does not currently offer STEM-related credentials or career pathways. Questions? Contact Christina Carnahan at christi.carnahan@uc.edu. 
News from NCC partners
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2021 Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education Conferences
July 19-23|Live in Austin, Texas
AHEAD is excited to announce its 44th annual conference, Equity & Excellence: Access in Higher Education, as an in-person professional development and networking event in Austin, Texas. Learn more and register.

July 26-30|Virtual Event on Zoom
The virtual equivalent to live event. It will highlight content from Austin, including presentations and a virtual exhibit hall. Learn more and register.
#AUCDsleeveup Tuesdays with Liz Contest
AUCD wants short videos from persons with disabilities and their families and friends sharing why they got the COVID-19 vaccine! Videos will be posted on social media. Learn more including how to “win” the contest.
Deadline: July 16, 2021
Supporting Teachers' Use of Assistive Technology in Early Childhood: Lessons Learned in a Post-Pandemic World  
Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
In this webinar, presenters will discuss lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to modify a professional development program designed to support early childhood educators in using assistive technology with young children with disabilities. Learn more and register.

#VaccinateByADA: Strategies for COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence for People with Disabilities  
Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET
Join the AUCD Public Health Team for a webinar on Strategies for COVID-19 Vaccine Access and Confidence for People with Disabilities. Presenters will share outreach strategies, lessons learned, and continuing barriers in the goal of vaccinating all eligible persons with disabilities. Learn more and register.
Meet the Coaches: Implementing the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan  
Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET
In this webinar, expert coaches will share their experiences implementing the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan. They will share some of the challenges faced and strategies used to make meaningful progress. Click for details and registration.
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Do you have news or an update to share?
It could appear in the next newsletter.
Please get in touch!

Sheila Johnson
Knowledge Translation Associate
Think College National
Coordinating Center
Institute for Community Inclusion