One of the most challenging obstacles facing transition-age youth in New Hampshire is the period between graduation, which typically occurs at the age of 18, and the age at which young adults with intellectual disabilities are eligible for adult services from the Home and Community Care waiver, at age 21. With the exception of services from NH Vocational Rehabilitation (NHVR), young adults with intellectual disabilities who leave high school at the age of 18 (or before) have few options for actualizing post-secondary goals for this three-year period. Unless family and social networks have been active in supporting them in employment and meaningful activities, students’ skills are likely to regress.
Without post-secondary options, many students do not have access to the typical coming-of-age milestones such as moving away from home, rooming with same-age peers, and navigating the real world of campus life. Instead, they are left behind. UNH -4U was designed to address these glaring opportunity gaps.
Project Outcomes include:
- Creating a federally-approved, 2-4 year inclusive Community Transition Program certificate program to an estimated 5 students in the first cohort.
- Developing UNH infrastructure for faculty supervised academic coaching and peer mentoring from same-age peers in undergraduate and graduate programs to support academic success and authentic campus life experience.
- Providing inclusive housing options, supporting students in acquiring the skills needed to live with greater independence in the community and post-graduation.
- Improving gainful competitive and integrated employment outcomes compared to services-as-usual from high schools, NHVR and developmental services systems.
- Building capacity for higher education in NH for students with ID/D.