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First Students with Intellectual Disabilities to Graduate from Inclusive Higher Ed in Colorado

First Students with Intellectual Disabilities to Graduate from Inclusive Higher Ed in Colorado

Upcoming graduates pave the way for future students with disabilities at UCCS and ACC

We have exciting news! This month, five students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) will become the first students to graduate from inclusive higher education pathways in Colorado. Nick, Mia, and Ashley will graduate from University of Colorado - Colorado Springs (UCCS). Jazmine and Kacie will graduate from Arapahoe Community College (ACC). A sixth student will join them in December.

Can you help us get the word out about this major accomplishment and honor these trailblazers?

Here are three ways to share about the upcoming graduates:

1. Share a post on social media. Click to share a pre-written Facebook post.

2. Share a story via email directly with colleagues, friends, family, etc.

3. For organizations: Share an article in your newsletter. Example for a Newsletter Article (feel free to copy):

This month five students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) will become the first students to graduate from inclusive higher education pathways in Colorado. Nick, Mia, and Ashley will graduate from University of Colorado - Colorado Springs (UCCS). Jazmine and Kacie will graduate from Arapahoe Community College (ACC) with certificates in their chosen area of study. A sixth student will join them in December. 

Historically, students with intellectual disabilities have been excluded from higher education. Today, around 60 students with IDD are enrolled across three schools. Students take regular college classes; participate in clubs and activities on campus, live on campus, complete internships, and hold employment, right alongside their typical peers.

These graduates are truly trailblazers – the first in Colorado! They are going into fields like nursing assistance, advocacy and human services, American Sign Language and education, photojournalism, theater, and communications. They are proving that inclusion works and demonstrating that college and career dreams can be reached, regardless of disability. “My advice for high school students is to pursue their dreams and know that they can accomplish anything that they want to,” Jazmine, upcoming graduate.

Learn more about inclusive higher education and these first graduates at: https://inclusivehighered.org/first-graduates/ ###

For the full press release about the upcoming graduates, click here.

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