From AP/Boston Herald:
While college programs for students with intellectual disabilities were almost nonexistent as recently as a decade ago, there are now more than 250 of them spread across campuses in more than three dozen states and two Canadian provinces.
Experts say the change has come about in response to demand from the first generation of students with disabilities who got full access to education in their local school districts, a right guaranteed under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
New federal funding rules, which will allow students with intellectual disabilities to receive grants and work-study money, are expected to prompt the creation of even more programs.
Disability advocates say the programs will help students get better jobs, even if they do not earn degrees. Critics call the programs a waste of tax dollars, and charge that they devalue the college experience of students without disabilities.
For more information, see Think College at the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston.