UNH-4U and Think College NH
Promoting Inclusive Higher Education in New Hampshire
More than 35,000 residents living in New Hampshire have an intellectual disability (ID) and most live segregated lives based on low expectations. Furthermore, 74% of youth and young adults with ID between the ages of 16-30 are unemployed compared to 28% of youth and young adults with no disability (American Community Survey, 2014). The poverty rate for this group is also alarming—34% of youth and young adults with ID live in poverty compared to 13.4% of their same-aged peers with no disability.
A major predictor influencing employment outcomes and income for these individuals with ID is educational attainment, yet there is not a single federally-approved, inclusive college or university transition program dedicated to serving this population in NH. The majority of young adults with ID, particularly those from low-income families, lack access to meaningful education and career opportunities that will help them achieve their life goals, competitive integrated employment, and increase independent living skills.
The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire is working on two strategic initiatives in response to these needs.
- Developing a Comprehensive Transition Program at UNH-Durham, and
- Working with state partners, colleges and universities to build capacity for higher education throughout New Hampshire for students with intellectual disabilities.