New Funding Will Help Expand Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities at Two-Year and Four-Year Higher Education Institutions

The Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council is excited to be a part of a new state partnership to expand post-secondary opportunities and options for people with intellectual disabilities.
Maryland, in partnership with the University of Maryland, has received a $25,000 grant from the Think College National Coordinating Center to enhance post-secondary options for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The grant follows an additional $250,000 funding commitment from Governor Larry Hogan during the 2017 General Assembly to be included in the state health department’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) budget and an additional set-aside from the state education agency to expand post-secondary opportunities for students transitioning from Maryland schools.

“Our administration is committed to ensuring all Marylanders have the opportunity to live, work, and thrive in our state,” said Governor Hogan. “Providing options for students with intellectual disabilities to continue their education with the goal of employment is essential to their future and our vision.”

Maryland’s Think College collaborative will coordinate the efforts of state agencies, institutes of higher education, parents, and advocacy organizations to expand the quality and capacity of programs at four-year and two-year institutions for students who might otherwise not be able to gain access. Partners include the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Developmental Disabilities Administration, the Maryland State Department of Education Divisions of Special Education/Early Intervention Services and Rehabilitation Services, the Maryland Department of Disabilities, the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, and the University of Maryland College of Education. A series of capacity-building institutes with state partners begins this spring to identify best practices and provide a coordinated effort throughout Maryland.

Think College is part of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and is funded by the US Department of Education to provide support, coordination, training, and evaluation services for transition and post-secondary education programs for students with intellectual disabilities.