Breaking Down Barriers: Going to College

This topic is important because college is up to
the family and the student. Everybody should have a choice to go to college.

In my senior year of high school, all of my friends were talking about
college. I would hear them say things like: I got into the University of Michigan.
I realized that I wanted to be able to say that I got into college, too. I
thought it would be a cool experience to be a college student. Last year, a new
program started at Oakland University in
for people with
developmental disabilities. It was started by a few very caring people who
thought outside the box. They are my parents, teachers, university people, and
me. It�s called Oakland University Transition. I am
enrolled in this transition program, but not the college. 
I take classes and get help with homework from peers and the support
people from the transition program.

My first day of college was a bit scary, but I got used to it. Overall, the
transition was fun and exciting, and I had a good high school teacher who helped
me make my dream of going to college come true. I take two buses to the campus
and sometimes get a ride home with a friend. In the Oakland University
Transition program, students like me take two to four classes and do volunteer
job training exercises at the


and the student
radio station WXOU. We�re also involved in the recreation and social stuff on
campus. I still have an IEP (Individual Education Plan), and I have meetings at
the end of every year, just like I did in high school. (This is unique to the
Oakland University Transition program.)

These are the steps I took to make it happen:

  • The first step is to have a good caseload teacher. A case load teacher is
    a teacher that helps you in high school. They help kids with disabilities
    make sure they are included in class and meet the IEP
    (Individual Education Plan) goals.
    Tell them you want one of the IEP goals to be going to college.

  • Next, you’ll have a lot of meetings with your high school team to plan
    how you are going to go to college. You�ll do research a pick a program that
    works for you.

  • You need to have lots of meetings with the college program, high school
    support team and your parents to figure out how things will work.

  • When you get to college, take classes because you like them and/or major
    in something you are interested in.

  • Try to have people around you who can support in you and who believe you.

Web resources:

Are you a person with a disability who thinks that college or training beyond
high school is not an option? Think again! There are educational opportunities
available for everyone who wants it. Check out this website to learn more:

Check out their website at:

ECLG’s mission is to improve
transition outcomes for students with learning disabilities and/or learning
differences. They work with school districts throughout
North America
to help bring the concepts of self-advocacy,
self-efficacy and self-determination into the classroom.

Check out their website at:

The HEATH Resource Center of The George Washington University, Graduate
School of Education and Human Development, is an online clearinghouse on
postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities.

Check out their website at:

The Transition Coalition provides online information, support, and
professional development on topics focusing on the transition from school to
adult life for youth.

Check out their website at:

Go to: Tools and Resources, 18-21 Programs Database

Education Research Center (PERC) project
, which is coordinated by

TransCen, Inc.

has information and resources on college options for students with intellectual

Check out their website at:

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