The postsecondary results of an appropriate public-school education for students with disabilities should be evidenced by employment, postsecondary education, or both within one year of high school. The 2008 Federal Higher Education Opportunity Act included provisions for equal college opportunities for students with disabilities. Community college programs that specifically address the needs of people with developmental disabilities (DD) exist, but these are not necessarily accessible to those with cognitive or severe disabilities. Additionally, they may provide only a certificate showing completion of hours or years but not achievement of skill level or expertise. Existing programs frequently are not fully inclusive, and many consist of separate classes rather than supporting individuals with severe disabilities to attend “regular” classes.
Help youth and young adults with DD successfully transition to post-secondary education and employment. Increase participation in Project Higher to advance education and employment outcomes through a targeted outreach campaign to Hispanic families in El Paso County, Texas.
The primary objective of the first phase of the project was to recruit and train community partners and project participants, develop outreach and training materials, and begin planning and development of the next phases. Imagine identified potential partners in the community, met with them and provided basic information and training. Imagine created informational flyers, fact sheets, and presentations for outreach, surveys and assessments, and invitation letters for partners and potential participants in English and Spanish.
Thirty-four participants received training and information on Social Security issues faced by transitioning youth and their families. Eight participants filled out a survey providing feedback on services received so far and possible direction for future activities. Four participants referred from Vocational Rehabilitation received full individualized counseling and benefits planning services. Imagine planned to bring all participants together for a meeting at the Project Higher location. In total, 52 possible participants were identified.
- 34 participants received training and information for 1 1/2 hours on Social Security issues faced by transitioning youth and their families
- 4 participants referred from Vocational Rehabilitation received full individualized counseling and benefits planning services
- 52 possible participants were identified
- Families and students in El Paso county are now aware of Project Higher