This issue of Inspiring Possibilities includes helpful family-friendly resources about postsecondary opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. View Online.
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Between issues of Inspiring Possibilities, you can stay up to date on the latest family-friendly, transition-related news, information, and resources via our National Parent Center on Employment and Transition’s Facebook page. In addition to helping you stay informed, we also celebrate the successes of individuals, the broader disability community, and living in an inclusive community. Join us on Facebook!

New! Inclusive Postsecondary Opportunities for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Good news! There are now over 260 programs on college campuses across the country offering students with intellectual disabilities an opportunity to earn a certificate by taking college classes, engaging in career development and independent living activities and participating in the social life of the campus.

Learn why inclusive postsecondary education is important (and possible!) for students with intellectual disabilities, how to find the right program, how to prepare, and how to stay involved and supportive throughout their journey on PACER’s new Inclusive Postsecondary Opportunities for Students with Intellectual Disabilities webpage.

Communicating with Your Student’s College Under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

As traditional four-year universities, community colleges, and trade and technical schools enroll more youth with disabilities, they are also hearing from more parents who expect to provide additional guidance and support to their youth during this transition. Parents accustomed to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and transition team are often surprised to find there are no such supports at the college or university level. In fact, postsecondary institutions sometimes discourage parent involvement and do not make it a common practice to communicate with families. Parents may be told that the postsecondary institution cannot communicate education or health information to families due to FERPA. Learn more in the handout, Communicating with Your Student’s College Under FERPA and hear a parent perspective in the previously recorded webinar, You Don’t Say! Parent Involvement Expectations, Communication and FERPA Requirements in Postsecondary Education Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.

Think College! College Search & Family Resources

Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability. They have many resources for families including:

Preparing for Postsecondary Life

This chart shares 20 Powerful Strategies to Prepare Your Child for Inclusive Postsecondary Education. The chart includes tasks such as using public transportation, having high expectations, going to overnight camp, starting a college savings account, and other skills that may be necessary to be successful in college.

Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities from HEATH Resource Center

The Heath Resource Center at the National Youth Transitions Center has served as a national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities since 2000. Their comprehensive guide on Postsecondary Education for Students with Intellectual Disabilities discusses available programs, preparation, legislation, the differences between high school and college, financial aid, self-determination, and college expectations for youth with intellectual disabilities.

Financial Aid for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

One of the biggest challenges in attending college may be how to pay for college. There are various ways that students with intellectual disability may be able to access funds to attend college:

PACER’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment® provides quality information and resources for families of young adults with disabilities on transition planning, civil rights, work-based learning, career accommodations, higher education, financial aid, and much more! Whether just starting the transition planning process or searching for information on a specific topic, is a comprehensive source of information designed to support families’ varied needs.
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