It’s summer! School is out, the weather is hot, vacation is calling. But did you know that there is still work you can be doing to help your inclusive college program? Just like you take a vacation over the summer, your legislators take a break from Washington, DC.
Almost twenty years ago, my daughter, Laura, was in her senior year of high school and asked me where she would go to college. Laura, who was born with Down syndrome, wanted and expected to go to college like her older brother and high school friends. At the time, there were only a few college options for students with intellectual disability (ID).
As a person with a disability, I was never taught how to speak up for myself. People assumed I would do what they wanted me to do. In the disability community, there’s a saying that people with disabilities take to heart: “nothing about us without us”.
Data allow us to see where we have been, an important role for these facts and figures. But perhaps more critically, data should help us to know where we are going.
There are many things that state government can do to promote inclusive college programs and help existing programs grow and mature. They can provide funding to start or expand inclusive college programs, as well as support policy changes that support program growth.
“The shortest distance between two people is a story.” – Patti Digh
The power of storytelling has always intrigued me: how sharing stories can spark attention and connect us together. It’s through this connection of relating to one another that we can begin to care and take action.
I worked in publishing for almost 15 years. I worked with some authors whose names will never be known outside their specialized field, and I worked with others who made significant royalties from their book sales, whose names a layperson might recognize. Whether their reputation was big or small, there were many who enjoyed some level of celebrity
"True belonging doesn't require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are." Brene’ Brown
When I was growing up, the idea of going to college seemed almost impossible. I was the first person in my family to go to college, to graduate with a 4-year degree, and eventually to pursue graduate school. My first job after graduation was working with troubled youth in the social work system.