Governor Hogan Funds Grant to Create Inclusive Higher Education Programs for People with Developmental Disabilities
Coppin State University Selected as Recipient of $250,000 Grant​

Baltimore, MD (May 17, 2018)—Governor Larry Hogan announced the allocation of $250,000 to the Maryland Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) for a grant that will create an inclusive higher education program for students with developmental disabilities. 

“Creating inclusive higher education opportunities for students with developmental disabilities that focus on both education and employment is incredibly important,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration is proud to work with the Developmental Disabilities Administration, Think College, and Coppin State University on this endeavor.”

Think College, a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability, along with Coppin State University, will plan, develop, and implement a higher education program that allows students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as defined under the federal Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) to:
  • Access inclusive academic courses
  • Obtain and sustain integrated competitive employment 
  • Access internships and work-based learning experiences
  • Receive campus or community housing
  • Experience the same benefits and outcomes as their peer students without disabilities

“This grant further helps us meet our goal to enhance the lives of people with developmental disabilities—starting at a younger age—to provide much-needed tools and knowledge so they can live active, full lives and to ultimately become working and living members in the communities of their choice,” said Bernard Simons, Deputy Secretary Developmental Disabilities Administration.  
In preparation for the launch of the program, the DDA held two Capacity Building Institutes for Inclusive Higher Education events to identify emerging and best practices for inclusive higher education. The first session, held at Towson University, focused on programs for adults with disabilities, while the second, held at Chesapeake College, focused on programs for Transitioning Youth with disabilities. Both sessions included experienced presenters from colleges and universities in surrounding states who shared their experiences and knowledge about the development and sustainability of their programs.  

The DDA also worked in consultation with the Maryland Inclusive Higher Education Collaborative, whose members include: Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS), Maryland State Department of Education-Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services (MSDE-SEEIS), Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD), and the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP).  The collaborative was supported by a grant awarded to the University of Maryland by Think College.   

This announcement closely follows federal approval for DDA’s Family Supports Waiver and Community Supports Waiver. Approval for both waivers was announced at the end of 2017, and services became available in February of this year. The waivers will reduce the current DDA wait list by 800 and provide needed supports to people with developmental disabilities and their families.



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