From the Washington Times:
Twenty-three-year-old Melissa Gurman (left) says she “accomplished her college dream” when she graduated in May from George Mason University’s Learning Into Future Environments (LIFE) program, a postsecondary program for students with intellectual disabilities.
Students in the LIFE program learn independent living skills and take courses for basic literacy, math, and other subjects. The program costs $16,000 per year, not including room and board. The 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act will soon help students with intellectual disabilities offset the costs of postsecondary education with federal loans or scholarships.
Debra Hart of the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts-Boston says some 200 similar programs have sprung up across the nation, most within the past 10 years. She says research suggests that students like Gurman who receive some form of postsecondary education are more likely to find a job and earn higher pay than peers who don’t.
(Washington Times photo)