Families and Advocates
Some thoughts on how you can support your family member to build an inclusive life and get the most out of being a College or University student.
Student support is as unique as each individual,
family, and community. But most importantly, it is dynamic and reflects the active constantly changing lifestyle of an engaged student and young adult.
"Knowing that university is an option challenges me to ensure that every pathway to discovery, learning and relationships are wide open for my daughter. When once the goal was mainstreaming now the goal is to widen the stream so we can all belong."
1. BEFORE STARTING INCLUSIVE POST SECONDARY EDUCATION
Students with developmental disabilities completing high school have typically had few opportunities to make decisions and to independently explore the world around them. The great majority of them have been educated in learning environments defined by their disability and assigned to classrooms and activities exclusively with others who have developmental disabilities.
When thinking about whether inclusive post secondary education is the right choice for your family member, the first step is to evaluate what inclusion means to them and to you.
Inclusive post secondary education is about opening up opportunities for students to try new things in the same places and in the same ways as any other student on campus. These opportunities are reflective of the academic civic and social interests of learners in an active vibrant environment.
To be successful they will need your support before, during, and afterwards. Whether your family member is in elementary school, completing high school, or finished some time ago, now that you and they are thinking about post secondary education it is the perfect time to start exploring what an inclusive life could look like.
You can support your family member to seek out inclusive opportunities to connect with other people who share their interests by checking out community organizations community learning and social networking opportunities.
Inclusive ideas for teens and young adults:
A STEPS Forward inclusion facilitator can help brainstorm
some of these ideas with you.