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ERIC Number: EJ921993
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0046-9157
Daniela's Journey to Shepherds College: New Opportunities in Post-Secondary Education for Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
Goldstone, Christina
Exceptional Parent, v41 n3 p13-16 Mar 2011
Nineteen years ago, the author's family made the momentous decision to adopt a child from Romania. Daniela had been terribly neglected and was extremely delayed in her development. When she was five she was diagnosed as having an intellectual disability (ID). As a teenager, with the help of her family and great professionals, Daniela began to make progress in all areas of her life. She gained self-control and began to have goals for her future. At age twenty her level of maturity is now blossoming. As she was making great gains, she was also transitioning out of high school. There seemed to be few options left for her to continue her education. She wasn't willing to settle for that. She wanted more. She wanted to go to college. There are many independent minded young men and women with IDs who have nowhere to go after high school. They have dreams, like Daniela, of going to college, living on their own, and having a career. In the past, most colleges weren't willing to give them a chance. Because students and their families have became vocal advocates, that is now changing. A new idea is slowly growing. Post-secondary education opportunities for young adults with ID are now spreading across the U.S., Canada, and the globe. There is a growing list of programs designed to give these students the opportunity to live out their dreams. Many are at community colleges and universities and some are run independently. Most are commuter programs, but some are residential. Shepherds College in Union Grove, Wisconsin, was started by an organization named Shepherds Ministries which has been working in Wisconsin since 1957 to improve the lives of people with IDs. They have provided vocational programs, social outlets and homes for many adults with varying levels of disabilities over the years. They are nationally recognized across the U.S. for their innovative programs to assist individuals in leading the most independent lives possible. The Shepherds College program is based on a concept created by Shepherds President, Dr. William J. Amstutz in 2006 called Appropriate Independence[TM], defined as "supported self-sufficiency that is aligned with the strengths of each individual and guided by Christian values." In this article, the author provides an account of their visit to this innovative program for young adults with IDs.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wisconsin