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More Intellectually Disabled Go To College

From an approving Associated Press:

More intellectually disabled youths go to college

October 16, 2010

WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AP) — …In years past, college life was largely off-limits for students with [mental] disabilities, but that’s no longer the case. Students with Down syndrome, autism and other conditions that can result in intellectual disabilities are leaving high school more academically prepared than ever and ready for the next step: college.

Eight years ago, disability advocates were able to find only four programs on university campuses that allowed students with intellectual disabilities to experience college life with extra help from mentors and tutors. As of last year, there were more than 250 spread across more than three dozen states and two Canadian provinces, said Debra Hart, head of Think College at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, which provides services to people with disabilities.

That growth is partly because of an increasing demand for higher education for these students and there are new federal funds for such programs.

The federal rules that took effect this fall allow students with intellectual disabilities to receive grants and work-study money

Obviously, the federal government has money to burn.

The college programs for these students vary. Generally the aim is to support the students as they take regular classes with non-disabled students. Professors sometimes are advised to modify the integrated classes by doing things like shifting away from a format that relies entirely on lectures and adding more projects in which students can work in groups.

One program in Idaho offers classes in drama, art and sign language. Students on other campuses can improve their computer skills or take child development classes.

Sometimes they’re paired with non-disabled students and advocates say the educational coaches, mentors and tutors who help them often are studying to become special education teachers or social workers and learn from the experience too.

Disability advocates say only a small percentage of these students will receive degrees, but that the programs help them get better jobs.

Historically, adults with intellectual disabilities have been restricted primarily to jobs in fast food restaurants, cleaning or in so-called "sheltered workshops," where they work alongside other disabled people and often earn below-minimum wages, said Madeleine Will, vice president of the National Down Syndrome Society.

With additional training, Hart said participants can go on to do everything from being a librarian’s assistants to data-entry work in an office

Jobs no one could ever tackle without a four year taxpayer subsidized college education.

Besides allowing for federal financial aid for these programs, Congress also has appropriated $10.56 million to develop 27 model projects to identify successful approaches

Oftentimes students with these disabilities stop their formal education when they finish high school, which is usually around the age of 21. Some districts have a partnership with colleges under which the district pays for their 18- to 21-year-old students to take higher education classes. In other cases, college costs are paid for by the parents.

Their children previously haven’t been eligible for grants and work study money because they generally weren’t seeking a degree and wouldn’t have been admitted to college through the typical process…

We can’t help but wonder how many would be admitted to college these days "through the typical process."

No wonder they are such willing acolytes for Mr. Obama and every other snake oil salesman who comes down the pike.

(Thanks to Confucius for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, October 17th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

16 Responses to “More Intellectually Disabled Go To College”

  1. confucius says:

    From AP:

    More intellectually disabled youths go to college

    October 17, 2010

    WARRENSBURG, Mo. (AP) — Zach Neff is all high-fives as he walks through his college campus in western Missouri. The 27-year-old with Down syndrome hugs most everybody, repeatedly. He tells teachers he loves them. …

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5itJuAD517PmfL0so2BC23GLwOZ_A?docId=2e2ba406c97c413fb1819a47a9d2166a

    That’s so Rahming.

    Speaking of which, I wonder if Rahm had anything to do with this.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      What pray tell is accomplished by the Federal Gubbamint wasting money on programs like this that won’t mean jack when Zach Neff goes out to get a job at McDonalds.
      I am not heartless by saying this but if you think that Zach is headed to work at Xerox or Goldman / Sachs your nuts. (no pun intended)

    • confucius says:

      You’d might even say it’s “Rahmtarded.”

    • proreason says:

      When will NASA start hiring scientists with Down Syndrome?

      It’s only fair.

      I mean, really, we did it for the presidency. What makes NASA so special.

    • TwilightZoned says:

      “What pray tell is accomplished by the Federal Gubbamint wasting money on programs like this that won’t mean jack when Zach Neff goes out to get a job at McDonalds.”

      Amen, LD! That’s if Zach is able to hold any job at McDonalds. We don’t know his capabilities. Generally, his academic level will be any where from pre-K to 3rd grade. Again, this is not a push by the students, but rather their parents.

      “Disability advocates say only a small percentage of these students will receive degrees, but that the programs help them get better jobs.”

      Really…better jobs? Students such as Zach need vocational training and generally need a one-on-one job coach to be trained for a specific job IF one can be found. Is that what they are getting in college? Not at my local university which offers an “On Campus Transition Program”. Students leaving this program will undoubtedly need additional vocational training once “graduating”, meaning more money spent on “education”. While I want the best for our SLA students in order for them to become as productive as possible, this is NOT the answer. IMHO it is money wasted to make the parent “feel” good their child getting to experience college.

      The next big push in education is to do away with special diplomas. I can’t even go there…my head may explode.

  2. bousquem says:

    I remember a number of years ago in high school, having a mentally disabled person walking past me everyday carrying an empty backpack while on his short way to the SPED (Special education) classroom. I think that he probably had the development of maybe a 2nd grader or 3rd grader. But he was kept in school till he was probably 21 and allowed to graduate with the current class even though he just got a certificate of some kind. The taxpayers wasted so much money on SPED to basically have alot of people babysit him and shuttle him. The next time I saw this guy was going into the local hospital a few years later and he was walking around with a handler who would walk with him, tell him to open this canvas bag to have x-ray films or files put in it, only a few at most, and then tell him to close it and walk with her around the hospital to deliver these things. I would be willing to be anything that both the person and his handler were payed by the state to do this.

    I don’t see why the taxpayers need to pay for people to work on getting a 4-year degree when they are never going to be able to use it or not really be able to even achieve it without depending on group projects to pull them along and changing entire courses to suit a single person. It is not the goverment’s responsibility to pay for everyone to feel better and included in such expensive things as college. I would also like to know how long before big brother starts mandating that colleges admit developmentally disabled people to the programs and graduating them regardless if they complete the work or not.

    • proreason says:

      I’m willing to spend some money to help anybody with a disability…but it has to be rational.

      College degrees for people with learning disabilities is so irrational that the only word that can be used to describe it is…..liberal.

      Once one of these nutty programs gets started, the next thing you know a whole bureaucracy has grown up around it. Careers are at stake. Peoples livlihoods depend on the loony program carrying forward.

      It’s why there needs to be some sort of cap on government spending. Anybody can think of dozens of worthy causes. Is it fair that midgets are deprived of NBA lifestyles? Of course not. What about ugly people? Shouldn’t they have just as much of a change at movie stardom as Angelina Jolie? Of course they should.

      No cap on spending is a formula for self destruction….as we are finding out.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      I don’t see why the taxpayers need to pay for people to work on getting a 4-year degree when they are never going to be able to use it or not really be able to even achieve it without depending on group projects to pull them along and changing entire courses to suit a single person.

      Well, it worked for our current president.

      (just sayin’)

  3. wardmama4 says:

    Ah guys you are missing the point – the ‘compassionate’ liberals want these people to achieve and be the best they can be – wait, that’s not it – the compassionate liberals want everyone to learn tolerance and understand that these are people who have something to offer to society – wait, that’s not it.

    It’s so simple – Learn about SSI – if you get a job and make above X (when cheerfully combined with every single cent from any source your parents have – since the chances are 100% that you (the handicapped) are living with Mom & Dad) – your SSI goes down – and get this – if you lose the job and/or get less income – it can take up to 9 months (usually of many, many wasted days (which means never getting another job) of sitting around defending your life & lack of income) to get it re-established. SSI (and it’s environs) do not truly encourage self improvement and growth and certainly not employment (sort of like Welfare) – but the Dems know that since now breathing out of one nostril only is a disability – they have to cull the rolls – what better way than put them to work.

    With the Dems – it is very easy to understand the basis of every decision – it will pad their wallets or waste money – I take this one is a decision to attempt to keep their ‘successful’ programs running longer – of course it does also add more tax money – so both basis work in this case.

    And I am glad that people finally have stopped talking to me like my son is a plant I push around for fun – he lost a leg – not his mind.

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

  4. Mithrandir says:

    I know someone who works in the Admissions Office at a major university, and she said that standards have lowered almost off the charts to keep up with racial quotas….and now they will have to drop again to make room for disabled students. (noble cause I know but…)

    Here is what she said is provided for minorities, I can only image what is provided for mentally challenged students

    ~Essays are weighted more, so as to give minorities ‘diversity points’ that they wouldn’t have gotten on a standardized test. Essays are subjective, not objective, and racial points are sneaked in this way)
    ~Race also plays a major part, as most students are “required” (but it’s optional, but if you leave the space blank you will be counted as ‘white’) to state their race upon their application.
    ~Tutors are specifically given to minorities.
    ~Student loan forgiveness programs are for minorities.
    ~Guest speakers are for minorities only.
    ~Summer/winter camps with seminars, trips, luncheons, are for minorities only.
    ~Special buildings and libraries, study centers are for minorities only.
    ~Graduation rates are monitored in favor of minorities.
    ~Recruitment fairs bus in, give lunch, housing, seminars for minorities.
    ~Recruitment racial quotas are monitored for minorities.
    ~Special student liaisons to professors are given to minorities. (likely to strong-arm them into giving passing grades, and ignore deadlines everyone else has to follow)

    Whenever I hear minorities complaining about not getting equal treatment, I laugh. They are right, their treatment is criminally unequal to the detriment of others who have to work for what they want.

    • confucius says:

      From The New York Times:

      Many Going to College Are Not Ready, Report Says

      By Tamar Lewin
      August 17, 2005

      Only about half of this year’s high school graduates have the reading skills they need to succeed in college, and even fewer are prepared for college-level science and math courses, according to a yearly report from ACT, which produces one of the nation’s leading college admissions tests. …

      ACT sets its college-readiness benchmarks – including the reading comprehension benchmark, which is new this year – by correlating earlier students’ ACT scores with grades they actually received as college freshmen. Based on that data, the benchmarks indicate the skill level at which a student has a 70 percent likelihood of earning a C or better, and a 50 percent chance of earning a B or better.

      Among those who took the 2005 test, only 51 percent achieved the benchmark in reading, 26 percent in science, and 41 percent in math; the figure for English was 68 percent. Results from the new optional ACT writing test, which was not widely taken this year, were not included in the report. …

      Minority students now make up 27 percent of all ACT test takers

      But it is a source of concern, he said, that too many students are not taking the kind of rigorous high school courses that will prepare them for college. In fact, only 56 percent of this year’s graduates who took the ACT had completed the recommended core curriculum for college-bound students: four years of English and three years each of social studies, science and math at the level of algebra or higher.

      Those who do complete the core curriculum are far more likely to meet college readiness standards, Dr. Ferguson said, but the percentage who complete that core has been falling.

      “The message doesn’t seem to be getting though,” he said. …

      http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/17/education/17scores.html

      Based on ACT’s report, high schools are to blame for not preparing college-bound students and colleges are to blame for admitting them.

      Furthermore, only 27% of ACT’s examinees were minority. So, if colleges are lowering admission standards, then it’s the non-minorities who are setting the curve.

    • proreason says:

      Frankly, I even question the value of a college degree for many, perhaps most, young people, of any race.

      We don’t need more citizens with a broad background in the Socialist Arts, we need more citizens who can fix washing machines and cook nutritious meals.

      Most kids should go to a 1 or 2 year technical school where they are taught, in depth, how to operate or repair complex machinery, or provide quality (and necessary) services.

      If that happened, then the universities could return to what their mission ought to be…..training the engineers, scientists, businsess leaders and medical professionals who will invent and improve the future…..rather than indocrinating government dependents.

    • Adam Moreira says:

      @confucius – never mind that the ACT is believed to be easier than the SAT exam. Colleges should be toughening admissions standards, along with attaching more strings to financial aid so that people can be encouraged (and better qualified with tougher admissions standards) to go into math and the sciences, which are actually hurting for qualified persons.

    • wardmama4 says:

      You want the dirty little secret of affirmative action babies and college – 97% don’t get a degree (probably will be just as high with the mentally disabled but that is a whole different issue & reasons). My daughter just graduated – one of her best friends was a very nice black man from Detroit. He is now living in the small OH town they went to college in and working an entry level job – as he failed one class – and so did not graduate. A waste of money and the space for 4 years that perhaps a student with real motivation could have used (not to mention all the loans/grants etc he used).

      And this is just a microcosm of the problems created when you give ‘special’ benefits to a select group of people – Congress is another one.

      God Help America
      A Proud American Infidel

  5. TerryAnne says:

    I’m trying to figure this one out (two quotes from the article):

    Disability advocates say only a small percentage of these students will receive degrees, but that the programs help them get better jobs.

    Their children previously haven’t been eligible for grants and work study money because they generally weren’t seeking a degree and wouldn’t have been admitted to college through the typical process…

    So…even though they weren’t pursuing a degree before and are acknowledged as having been denied access to grants because of it…it’s now kosher to give these kids federal money to pursue the same non-degree they were seeking as before? My head is going to ‘splode!

    I also liked this one:

    Historically, adults with intellectual disabilities have been restricted primarily to jobs in fast food restaurants, cleaning or in so-called “sheltered workshops,” where they work alongside other disabled people and often earn below-minimum wages, said Madeleine Will, vice president of the National Down Syndrome Society.

    I seriously doubt they earn below minimum wage. And, if they do, it is likely because they are paid minimum-wage or over, but the shelter takes their cut for expenses and then gives the remaining amount to the person.

    All-in-all, I think it is a nice gesture for some functioning learning disabled persons (primarily Down Syndrome). However, I’m sick of everything being wrapped up in such feel good stuff. This will affect the quality of education (er…further affect) at higher institutions. Why not have a small “university” type place that these kids can go to? Like the old trade schools that are so blasphemized today. If they need a mood booster (which is strange, since most Down’s persons I’ve met have been extremely sweet and happy 24/7), there are other ways of doing it. People wonder why I have no desire to pursue my Master’s degree; I like to tell them that it proves nothing (especially when the person I’m speaking with has several degrees).

    • confucius says:

      TerryAnne,

      You and proreason raise an interesting point about people who are over-educated and over-degreed.

      I’ve noticed that the best RNs are former LPNs who went on to get an associate degree and the worst are those who have a BSN. (Well, actually the worst might be those with a master’s degree, but they usually end up in management.)

      Similarly, some of the dumbest doctors I’ve ever met are board-certified in more than one specialty.


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