Higher Education Programs for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Jaclyn Camden, M.Ed., NCC, Business Liaison, VCU Center on Transition Innovations
Aliza Lambert, M.Ed., CRC, Career Support Specialist
This webcast will discuss how higher education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities can provide effective virtual job development and training supports to students on a college campus. Real-world examples will be provided on how staff have accomplished virtual job supports at Virginia Commonwealth University’s inclusive higher education program, ACE-IT in College. As an inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) program, ACE-IT has successfully secured campus employment for 100% of its students for the 10 years it has been a program. Amidst the pandemic, ACE-IT staff were able to successfully develop both on-campus and remote paid positions for all students in their program.
In addition to both presenters having years of experience with the ACE-IT in College program, they have developed a course on supported employment for inclusive postsecondary programs as part of Research Study 6 of the RRTC on Employment of Transition Age Youth with Disabilities, a grant funded by NIDILRR. The course is now welcoming its second cohort of participants which represents inclusive postsecondary education programs across the country. Through facilitated course discussions, presenters have received feedback from program staff on what has worked and what has not worked for their programs regarding integrated employment. The presentation will highlight some of the feedback and allow the audience to reflect on their own experiences surrounding integrated employment and job supports in their respective inclusive postsecondary education programs. Presenters will make recommendations on how to incorporate feedback and innovative virtual support to continue to raise expectations and increase paid employment opportunities for students with IDD.