VICTORIA – Up to 25 students with developmental disabilities will now have the opportunity to attend classes and gain campus experiences at B.C. colleges and universities under a two-year, $400,000 investment with STEPS Forward’s BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education, funded by Community Living BC (CLBC).
Over the next two years, CLBC will evaluate the program to find out how well it enables students to pursue employment, build relationships and use the natural supports available.
STEPS Forward’s BC Initiative for Inclusive Post-Secondary Education is a unique organization that helps youth with developmental disabilities participate in classes and all aspects of campus life using the support of classmates, professors and other resources, to encourage inclusive, university-level experiences. It’s the only known organization of this kind in B.C.
The goal is to help students with developmental disabilities integrate more easily into campus life, community activities and workplaces. The organization provides personal support for each student to attend classes, do homework and exams, as well as to identify a career goal and find employment related to their studies.
This funding for STEPS Forward will support government’s ongoing work to improve services and supports for people with developmental disabilities and their families. It will help deliver on recommendations in the 12-point plan released earlier this year, which includes improving support for transitioning youth, increasing employment planning and supporting innovation.