Supports and Services
College has evolved as a valued and realistic opportunity for people with I/DD. College gives students the opportunity to forge their identity by stretching their independence, exploring and developing their interests and skills, and expanding their social capitol through friendships and community connections. Students cross the boundaries of academic and student life to civic engagement, work internships and ultimately employment. During this session we will explore the relationship between AHRC NYC and four CUNY colleges; a relationship that has impacted the lives of 150 students with I/DD and their families over the course of 12 years. The qualities that make these partnerships work, i.e. shared values and vision, trust and respect, all emerge when inter-dependencies are carefully tended in action. Furthermore, it has challenged the values, perceptions, and attitudes of high schools, transition coordinators, college administration and faculty, the campus community, and employers.
During this session we will address practical issues associated with developing and sustaining this prototype, such as: how to fund this model, the roles of The Arc and the responsibilities of the colleges, how tasks will be divided to make the most efficient use of resources and meet demands from regulatory authorities, who will report to whom, what policies will govern decisions, etc. In addition to this we will illuminate the blind spots that occur when organizations that have historically never had anything to do with each other, join forces to think and act relationally and begin the undertaking of opening space for all people on the college campus.