15 Session - Texas State Independent Living Council

Texas Consortium for Post Secondary
Opportunities for People with
Intellectual and Developmental
Post Secondary Opportunities for
People with Intellectual and
Developmental Disabilities Project
PSO/IDD Project started Fall 2012
 Austin Community College STEPS program
 Austin Independent School District Special Education
Advisory Committee
 Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas
 Texas Center for Disability Studies at the University of
Texas at Austin
PSO/IDD Project Mission
 The mission of the Post Secondary Opportunities for
People with Intellectual and Developmental
Disabilities Project is to build a collaboration between
organizations that have or support post secondary
opportunities for people with intellectual and
developmental disabilities to raise awareness of
existing programs available in Central Texas and build
support for their expansion and the creation of new
programs that lead to life-long learning and
meaningful, gainful employment.
PSO/IDD Project Goals
 Raise awareness of post secondary opportunities in the
Raise awareness of programs across the country for students
with IDD’s.
Learn interest level from community in post secondary
Identify subject areas that are of interest to the community.
Identify potential obstacles to attending post secondary
Develop support for existing programs and their expansion
and the creation of new programs.
Develop community partnerships with organizations.
Community Forum – Austin, Texas
 The primary purpose of the community forum was to
achieve some of the PSO/IDD Project goals by sharing
information with the community on available post
secondary opportunities and to collect data on
interest level from community on continuing
education after high school for people with
intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Community Forum
 General overview of post secondary opportunities
 DSACT adult program presentation
 ACC STEPS program presentation
 Focus groups
Support from the 83rd Texas
Legislature 2013
Senate and House of Representatives
Proclamations of Support for Post Secondary
Opportunities for People with Intellectual and
Developmental Disabilities.
 Senator Judith Zaffirini
 Representative Elliot Naishtat
National Down Syndrome Society
 The National Down Syndrome Society awarded the
Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas a grant
of $10,000 to support the mission and goals of the
PSO/IDD Project.
PSO/IDD Project Presentations
 Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
 Department of Aging and Disability Services
 Texas Education Agency – Texas Special Education
Continuing Advisory Committee
 Texas Education Agency Education Service Centers
 Texas Education Agency Education Service Center Region
XIII 18+ Network
Texas Consortium for Post Secondary
Opportunities for People with Intellectual
and Developmental Disabilities
 Austin Community College STEPS program
 Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas
 Houston Community College VAST Academy
 Texas Center for Disability Studies at the University of
Texas at Austin
 Texas Tech Burkhart Center for Autism Education and
Texas Consortium Mission
 The mission of the Texas Consortium for Post
Secondary Opportunities for People with Intellectual
and Developmental Disabilities is to collaborate with
organizations that have programs or are interested in
creating programs for people with intellectual and
developmental disabilities and to promote post
secondary opportunities throughout Texas that lead
to life-long learning and meaningful, gainful
Texas Consortium 2014 Goals
 Present at conferences across the state.
 Organize community forums and educator events in
Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth area, Houston, and San
 Seek funding opportunities for the expansion of
existing programs and the creation of new programs
in all regions of Texas.
 Advocate for legislation at the Texas Legislature that
will create funding opportunities for programs across
the state.
Contact information
Gerard Jimenez
[email protected]
Board of Directors
Program Director & Government Affairs Director
Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas
Texas Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition
Austin Independent School District Special Education Advisory Committee
Texas Center for Disability Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
College Opportnuities
For Adults with IDD
Jon Pierce-Shimomura, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
University of Texas at Austin (UT)
Director of Adult Education
Down Syndrome Association of
Central Texas (DSACT)
Gerard Jimenez
Board of Directors
Program Director
Government Affairs Director
Down Syndrome Association of
Central Texas (DSACT)
[email protected]
[email protected]
Inclusion for people with IDD
• People with Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental (IDD) are
part of our society but were commonly excluded from educational,
job and social opportunities.
• Inclusion is now common for K-12 education
– IDEA: guarantees
Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
• Inclusion is not yet common for postsecondary education
– ADA: must self advocate, only prevents discrimination due to disability
• Inclusion is still uncommon for employment opportunities for adults
with ID, partly due to a lack of postsecondary education
University of Texas Informal Classes
Aimed at Adults with IDD Doorhere
Informal Classes at UT
Social Time
Interactive class
Thanks to DSACT, Gerard Jimenez, Allison Griffith, Josh Russell,
Laura Ferguson, Kylie Huckleberry, Sarah Nordquist, Rose
Stewart, Liz Cronin and dozens of UT undergraduate students
Informal Classes at UT
Hands-on Learning and Fun!!
Our senses
Alcohol & drugs on the brain
Parkinson’s disease
Amazing animals
Drug discovery
Math for everyday living
Japanese language & culture
Spanish food & culture
Logistics for
UT Informal Classes
Respite for
Once per week for six consecutive
weeks 5:30-8:00pm
Dean Keeton
27th St
Wichita St
University Ave
Whitis Ave
Guadalupe St
27th St.
To I-35
Littlefield café
patio meeting
Drop off
Entrance to
seminar rooms
and teaching lab
Growth of UT Informal Classes
Aimed at Adults with IDD
Students served per year
Reverse inclusion classes
Book clubs
UT Informal
Employment Opportunities for Adults
with IDD
Cory Gentry
Lab Assistant Class I
20 hours per week
Neuroscience laboratory
University of Texas at Austin
Goals Achieved for UT Informal Classes
• Foster high expectations:
– Self-image as UT student
– Expand expectations of student in eyes of family and friends
• Build self-confidence:
– Hesitant, but soon tried hands-on activities and participated in
discussion -- obviously enjoying taste of college life
– Provide important time away from family and vice versa
• Socialization:
– Practice appropriate conversation and body language with peers with
and without IDD -- key for employability
– Provide critical time for UT students in medical or education fields to
truly get to know people with IDD
• Broader goals:
– Life-long education on college campus
– Maintain affordability ($120) and thus sustainability
Near Future for UT Informal Classes
– Integration with career development:
• Identify employment strengths and desired jobs
• Vocational and remedial classes on math, reading, writing and social
• Offer numerous courses to allow true self-determination
– Additional opportunities for inclusive campus membership with
typical UT students:
• Inclusion program for existing Informal Classes at UT
• Interaction with social groups: Best Buddies, Texas Lassos, Dean’s
Scholars, etc…
• Audit formal UT classes
– Sustainability for expansion:
• School district funding as part of transition program
• Qualify program for use of Federal Student Aid
• Fund raising
STEPS Program
Skills, Training and Education for Personal Success
The STEPS Program
 Unique program for adults whose abilities may prevent
participation in traditional adult education
 The STEPS Program fosters student success by preparing
students for job readiness through a specialized curriculum
About Our Program
 Up to 2 year program
 Focus on supporting student success and job readiness
 Lesson plans are personalized based on each student's needs
 Upon completion, students go onto take adult education
courses, certification courses, sit for the COMPASS test or
become gainfully employed
 Technology Skills
 Clerical Skills
Our Classes
 Retail Skills
 Academic Skills
 Workforce Development
 Social Skills for Life and
 Business Mathematics
Technology Skills
 Students gain skills in internet use,
 Microsoft 2010 Applications and basic research skills.
 Students are taught at their own pace,
 layering additional information each semester.
Clerical Skills
 Students learn appropriate business etiquette in addition to
typing skills, use of office equipment, building a resume and
cover letter and learning to interview.
 Each Wednesday students participate in Dress for Success!
Retail Skills
 Retail skills develops customer service skills, use of a cash
register and money management
 Students learn appropriate workplace behavior and how to
deal with stressful situations in a healthy way.
Academic Skills
 Students learn reading, writing and math skills, starting at
each student's individual level
 Curriculum focus' heavily on reading comprehension and
functional mathematics
 Majority of students increase academic skills one grade level
each semester
Social Skills for Life and Work
 During this class students receive hands on experience
practicing appropriate workplace social skills.
 Students develop conversation skills, relationship skills,
public speaking, dealing with stressful situations as well as
learn self - advocacy skills.
Adapted Business Mathematics
 Students interested in business and retail enjoy the
supportive challenge of Business Mathematics.
 Students learn how to calculate percentages and taxes in
addition to creating a budget for home and work. Students
learn at their own pace and get a comprehensive experience
in business mathematics
Workforce Development
 Students who are getting ready to graduate can take the Workforce
Development Class
 Students learn job readiness skills such as:
 Finding jobs they qualify for
 Applying for jobs
 Preparing for the first interview
 Creating a targeted resume and cover letter
 Volunteering
 Students are supported through the job search, interview and hire process
Continuing Education Courses
Administrative Assistant Series
Intro to PowerPoint
Child Care
Intermediate PowerPoint
Intro to Word
Advanced PowerPoint
Intermediate Word
Event planning
Advanced Word
Fundamentals of PC Use
Intro to Excel
Creative Writing
Intermediate Excel
Advanced Excel
Certified Nurses Aid
Sign Language
Medical Terminology
Weight Training
 Students who complete the program participate in the
Continuing Education Graduation Ceremony at the end of
each spring semester
 Students this spring will receive a Work Readiness Certificate
upon completion of the program.
Our Graduates
 54% of all graduates took inclusive adult education courses.
 92% are now employed
 8% are still looking or are unable to work due to health
 10% went onto further education
After Graduation
 Receptionist
 Deli Department
 File Clerk
 Dental Receptionist
 Assistant Coach
 Child Care Assistant
 Cashier
 Teaching Assistant
 Line Cook
 Data Entry Clerk
 Clerk at
 State Capital
Beyond STEPS
 Students wishing to advance their education have many
 Students who want take further Continuing Education
Courses or work towards a certification can sign up for STEPS
Academic Support during their final STEPS Semesters.
 Academic support provides 6 hours a week of homework and
tutoring help.
Contact Information
STEPS Program Director
Mariah Lossing
[email protected]
Certificate Programs
for Students With
VAST Academy Motto:
“All that I can, I will.”
Vocational Advancement & Skills Training-23 years experience
empowering “differently abled” students with developmental
challenges to achieve their dreams of becoming more
independent and competitively employed in the workforce.
Over 150 students enrolled at 2 Colleges
A 3rd Program to begin Fall 2014.
Offering Two Meaningful
Workforce Credentials
Occupational Skills-Career Readiness
Office Skills Training & Work Keys
Formalized Admissions Process (18-25 age range)
Comprehensive Support Services
Scholarships from local foundations
Person Centered Planning
Pre-College-Freshman Success Bridge Courses
Internships with local employers
Job placement assistance
Occupational Skills Certificate
A two-year career readiness workforce credential, offering courses that
enhance functional reading, math and writing as they relate to workforce
skills, develop basic computer/financial literacy and human relations skills for
the workplace.
Students receive assistance with identifying a realistic career goal, through a
“person centered planning” approach, develop a vocational degree plan and
upon successful completion of their courses, are placed on an internship with
an employer partner based on their career interests and skills.
Office Skills Training Certificate
• Business Writing
• Communications
• Keyboarding
• PowerPoint
• Intro to Office Skills
• Work Keys CRC
• Spreadsheet/Excel
• Job Preparation
Term III Internship- 10 week/200 hrs.
Office Assistants
Data Entry
Filing and Clerical
Mail Center Clerks
Residential Option:
• A partnership with
“The Center”
• Cullen Residence Hall
• 3 designated floors for
HCC VAST students
• Private rooms
• Modern amenities
• Activities coordinator
• Cafeteria that provides
breakfast, lunch, dinner
and snacks.
• Social activities
• Employment opportunities
Student Life
The Eagles Club- holds college-wide events, workshops, and
community service projects.
Student Government
Campus Sports
Service Learning
Student Leadership Opportunities/Awards
Advocacy-TX Advocates State Conference
Leadership & Self-Advocacy
Student Leader of the Year Award
Capitol Day & Texas Advocates State Conference Workshop
Presented her own session.
President’s New Freedom Initiative Award
For furthering the Employment and Independent Living Goals of
individuals with disabilities.
Pictured at U.S. Dept. of Labor in Washington, D.C. from left:
Sue Moraska, Director, Judy Embry and daughter Nicole, a VAST Academy
graduate, then U.S. Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao.
Nicole is a full-time employee at Smith and Associates for more
than 10 years.
The U.S. Dept. of Education awarded HCC- VAST Academy
a $2.5 million, 5 year TPSID grant to expand it’s comprehensive
transition programs for students with intellectual disabilities.
National TPSID Grant Coordinating Center: Thinkcollege.net
Employment and Internship Success
Education + Employment = Independence
Employment Success
Child Care
Classroom assistants
Rise School has hired 5
VAST Alumni.
Internship and Employment
Hilton Americas
VAST Students staffing the
Abilities Expo
Employment Success
Pier 1 Imports
Of the Region
Employers & Internship Partners :
AND MORE . . .
Employer Partners
Texas Children’s Hospital
Shriner’s Hospital for Children
The Rise School
KPFT 90.1 Radio
Ch. 39
The Center
Houston Public Library
Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo
MD Anderson Cancer Center
Spring Branch ISD
The River Theatre
Hilton Americas
Thornwood Elementary
Catholic Charities
Jewish Family Services
Phoenicia Deli
Sailing Angels
Houston Arboretum
NEO Cafe
HCC Child Care Center
HCC Mail Distribution Center
Contact Information:
Sue Moraska, Director
HCC-VAST Academy
1301 Alabama Suite 101B
Houston, TX 77004
[email protected], 713-718-6833

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