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Opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Hi group members,

According to data from Think College, an institute at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, the state of North Carolina ranks in the top six states nationwide for its college offerings for students with intellectual disabilities.  That state has become a model in this area of education.  North Carolina has three programs at universities, dozens more at community colleges and one graduate-level opportunity.

The reason for this increase in such programs is, in part, due to an alliance among colleges and universities and a broad set of stakeholders created by the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities, part of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

At Wake Tech Community College, the classes offered to students in the program no longer distinguish between students who have disabilities and those who don’t.

Their goal to expect more from students includes doing away with the compensatory education model, which put them in separate learning environments that focused less on academics and career skills.  Fifteen years ago Compensatory education was unique when it first started since nowhere else had anything on a college campus for this population of adult students intellectual and developmental disabilities,

At College of the Albemarle, the Pathways to an Accessible College Experience program allows students to take classes with traditional students and to take on internships with community partners.  Programs also offer more job training opportunities,

The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities enrolls students with intellectual disabilities as part of a cohort in the center’s graduate program.  These students work with traditional graduate students studying developmental disorders. They train to be self-advocates and have gone on to spread awareness and improve working conditions for the developmentally disabled.


Do any of our group members work in North Carolina?  If so, I would be interested in hearing more about these programs.


Thank you,

Rochelle Kenyon, SME