Online Program

Tapestry: Access to postsecondary education for student with intellectual and/or cognitive disabilities

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 12:45 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Karen Ward, EdD, Center for Human Development, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK
Catie Wheeler, University of Alaska Anchorage, Center for Human Development, Anchorage, AK
Transition to postsecondary education for students who experience intellectual and/or cognitive disabilities is a major challenge throughout the country. Students often lack the support and assistance needed to successfully navigate postsecondary education settings. With funding from the US Department of Education TPSID program, the University of Alaska Anchorage currently has over 20 students participating in an innovate postsecondary program. TAPESTRY (Transition And Postsecondary Education and Employment Students, Technology, Relationships, and You) provides students, ages 18-21, with intellectual and/or cognitive disabilities a postsecondary college experience. The objectives include developing self-advocacy skills, engaging in career exploration, and developing social skills that lead to employment in a career field or enrollment in college degree program. The TAPESTRY program aims to increase personal responsibility of the students to achieve greater independence. Novel approaches include the incorporation of technology and a mentor program. Technological has the potential to greatly enhance the learning experience of people with disabilities and their educational and social interactions. With the increasing educational and social use of iPads, their integration as a learning tool is a key component of the TAPESTRY program to support self-determination, preparation for employment, and community integration. The mentor program promotes the full participation within the University by creating a support community for the students. Greater independence and inclusion within a postsecondary setting transfer beyond a college campus to the community at-large. We will discuss the importance of inclusion of students with intellectual and/or cognitive disabilities in postsecondary programs and address the methodological challenges of program evaluation.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the need for the inclusion of students with intellectual and/or cognitive disabilities in postsecondary programs. Discuss how technology can enhance the learning and social experience for people with intellectual and/or cognitive disabilities.

Keyword(s): Disability, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI on this project. I have over 30 years of professional experience working in the field of developmental disabilities and mental health, with both children and adults. I have published numerous articles on victimization of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.