I'm going to let you in on something that is SO near to my heart: college access for students with disabilities. And not just for students with learning disabilities or physical disabilities, but for all students-- including (and especially for) those who were previously unable to attend.
See how I said "previously"? The landscape is changing and there are now hundreds of inclusive programs throughout the country at 2-year, 4-year, public, private, commuter and residential colleges and universities for students with disabilities. In fact, I used to direct one!
So why aren't we seeing a ton of students with disabilities enrolling in college? In my experience, it's not the students' abilities that are stopping them anymore-- there is at least one inclusive program in nearly every state. What stops students with disabilities from being able to pursue postsecondary education is the money.
20 years ago, college for a student with an intellectual disability was a pipe dream. No one was setting aside a college fund for their student with Down syndrome. Even (more so) today, having a student with a disability is expensive-- therapies, equipment, doctor's appointments, medicines-- and college is a big chunk of change that could be set aside for future care.
Ruby's Rainbow saw this challenge and decided to tackle it. Since 2012, this non-profit has dedicated tens of thousands of dollars to grants and scholarships for adults with Down syndrome who are seeking post-secondary education, enrichment or vocational classes.
I've seen their impact personally in the lives of several of my students-- these scholarships provide more than just education! They provide relief, hope, opportunity, and confidence. They validate the unique gifts and interests of students with intellectual disabilities and provide a springboard for these students to grow their skills in an environment with their peers.
In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, IEP Guru is partnering with Ruby's Rainbow to get more students with disabilities to college. How are we doing this?
1. By empowering parents to better prepare their students for college through the improvement of IEPs
2. By raising more money for scholarships for students with Down syndrome who want to pursue higher education
You can help these efforts by purchasing the IEP Guru digital course during the month of October, and 25% of your sale price will be given directly to the Ruby's Rainbow scholarship fund.
In short: You get the help and education you need, and you fund college scholarships so students with Down syndrome can get the higher education they desire.
Is this a win-win or what?! Don't miss it! And be sure to check out our Facebook page throughout the month for updates about how many scholarships we're able to fund through this exciting partnership. We can't wait!