UNH’s Institute on Disability (IOD) has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create greater access to post-secondary education for young adults in New Hampshire with an intellectual disability.
This grant, Granite State Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) project, marks a turning point for inclusive higher education in New Hampshire. According to the 2019 Disability Statistics Compendium, in 2018, only 13.9% of N.H. residents with a disability age 25 and over earned a four-year college degree, compared to 24.3% of residents without disabilities. Additionally, young adults with intellectual disabilities are significantly more likely to be underemployed and live in poverty than their peers.
"For many students with intellectual disabilities, post-secondary opportunities are not extended to or expected of them. Today, that experience is changing."
"Opportunities for jobs and careers often come through post-secondary training and education experiences. For many students with intellectual disabilities, post-secondary opportunities are not extended to or expected of them. Today, that experience is changing," says IOD director Kelly Nye-Lengerman.
Over the next five years, the Granite State TPSID project will develop a sustainable model to enroll and support up to 50 students with intellectual disabilities at UNH and build capacity across the state’s network of institutions of higher education. In accordance with UNH COVID-19 operating procedures, innovative on-campus and remote-learning opportunities will combine traditional classroom experiences with inclusive campus life options, peer mentoring and academic coaching to prepare students for academic, occupational and social success.
"We've been working with UNH departments on campus as well as state agencies and non-profit partners to develop this model for the past five years. We're excited to be at this stage of implementation," says Tobey Partch-Davies, principal investigator for the Granite State TPSID project.