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Task Force Urges Higher Education for Intellectually Disabled

Education and career preparation for individuals with disability is positive for our communities as well as individuals and families. According to recent reports, a Massachusetts task force is recommending that students with intellectual disabilities, including autism, be included in higher education. The panel recommends students be able to participate alongside peers, even if they have not passed necessary tests. The task force recommends that the state expand a program that would allow students with intellectual disabilities who are between the ages of 18 and 22 to enroll in college classes.

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While working to include these students can be positive, legislators, teachers, and families must keep in mind the long-term financial and security needs. Our Boston SSDI attorneys are disability rights advocates committed to helping individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities successfully recover their necessary benefits. We are committed to raising awareness about disability issues that impact our communities and staying abreast of legal issues throughout the state.

The goal of the task force was to shed light on the benefits of higher education for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. Ultimately, the group wants to ensure that colleges and higher education institutions are more inclusive so that young people with intellectual disabilities can still learn requisite skills and contribute to society. Advocates say that the state has largely ignored the potential for student success.

A recent article highlights the potential of individuals with Autism and other intellectual disabilities. A young student with Aspergers Syndrom graduated from Briston Community College this month and learned more than just his major. The student also learned how to be patient, to persevere, and to collaborate. More importantly, the college courses taught him how to set and achieve reasonable goals. Now the graduate has a degree in pastry and baking that could potentially allow him to pursue a career. According to the Dean of the school, there are 998 students with disabilities at the college, including ADHD/ADD, Autism, blind and deaf disabilities, physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, and other psychological disabilities, including depression.

The community college has been able to provide support services and allows individuals with disabilities to earn a degree and fully participate in activities and learning opportunities. Graduates can earn an associate’s degree or get a certification in technical programs. The college has learning specialists on staff to help improve the learning experienced for intellectually disabled students. The programs also help students manage their time, develop individualized programs, and pursue academic advisement.

Despite creating educational and professional opportunities, many individuals who suffer from intellectual or physical disabilities will need support from Social Security. In the event that an accident or disease results in the inability to work the Social Security disability programs are available to help individuals and families make ends meet. Remember that filing for disability benefits can be stressful and time consuming. To avoid denial and delays, consult with an experienced SSDI advocate who can properly document your condition and effectively file your claims.

Call our Boston SSDI attorneys for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:
MA Makes Top 10 for Disability Services, April 23, 2014, Boston Social Security Disability Lawyer Blog
Mays v. Colvin – Disproving Ability to Do Sedentary Work, Jan. 23, 2014, Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Attorney Blog