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InclusiveU Featured in New York Times Story about College Opportunities for People with Disabilities
The New York Times recently featured a story that highlights Syracuse University students and staff in InclusiveU, a dynamic college program for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the School of Education and another important innovation in the University’s long history of advocacy and service for people with disabilities.
The Times’ story discusses work-readiness college programs for people with intellectual disabilities and quotes several students and staff members of InclusiveU.
“The New York Times piece is a wonderful glimpse into the work of the InclusiveU program and the opportunities that it provides for students of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” says School of Education Dean Joanna Masingila. “The story highlights the great internship opportunities and job preparation that students in InclusiveU have. Our hope is for all students in the program to be able to transition to meaningful work upon completion of the InclusiveU program.”
Based in the school’s Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, InclusiveU provides a rich college experience for students through individual coursework, personal planning, internships and social and extracurricular activities.
For their first three years, InclusiveU students audit classes in any focus area they may be interested in. In their fourth year, students intern at on-campus settings and participate in job preparation sessions to provide them with marketable job skills. Another component of InclusiveU is peer counseling, with University students from around campus providing support and mentoring to InclusiveU students, partnering with them at social events and in academics.
The Taishoff Center was established in 2009 by the Taishoff family with a commitment to individualized and inclusive higher education opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It offers support, research, training and resources to individuals, families and college campuses on strategies that can help foster and support college students with disabilities.
The center has made important contributions to supporting students through its work and through such events as two national conferences. The center is co-sponsoring the 2017 State of the Art Conference on Postsecondary Education and Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities in November in Syracuse.
To build on its success, the center’s staff has obtained millions of dollars in grants from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Taishoff Family Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education. In 2016, the center received $2 million in federal funds specifically to develop programs and conduct research through InclusiveU.