The UH Mānoa College of Education Center on Disability Studies (CDS) was awarded its third consecutive U.S. Department of Education Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) grant. This brings CDS’s recent grant awards to nearly $13M, having just received four Native Hawaiian Education Grants.

The TPSID program, titled, Raising Expectations, The Hawai‘i Comprehensive Inclusive Postsecondary Education Initiative, is led by CDS Assistant Specialist and Principal Investigator Eric Folk and Co-Principal Investigator Robert Stodden. The program will provide a framework to support persons with Intellectual Disabilities to successfully participate and progress in programs of study in the UH System.

“The award was highly competitive among top national universities,” Folk explained. “The TPSID competition has funded 66 distinct proposals and our CDS research team is one of only three projects to receive three consecutive awards in this competition. This elevates CDS to an elite status nationally and speaks to the quality of our team and the hard work and achievements of the students we support. We are so grateful and excited to continue this important work.”

Over the past 10 years, CDS’s Postsecondary Support Project (PSP) has developed an inclusive postsecondary support (iPSE) model, assembled a statewide interagency team, and recruited and trained program staff to support students with intellectual disabilities (ID) at seven UH System Community College campuses. As a result, Hawai‘i is now the first state to include and support students with ID and developmental disabilities at all state system community colleges.

“The research team would like to thank the Hawai‘i State Division of Vocational Rehabilitation; the Hawai‘i Department of Health, Developmental Disabilities Division; the Hawai‘i State Department of Education; and the University of Hawai‘i System for their fiscal and programmatic support over the years,” Folk concluded.

CDS has been an international leader in the study of transition and provision of supports to persons with disabilities in postsecondary education. The initial funding and conduct of national studies by CDS researchers directing the National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Educational Supports (NCSPES), National Center for the Study of Employment and Asian/Pacific Islanders with Disabilities, and National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET) led to interest in supporting the participation of youth with Intellectual Disabilities in postsecondary education.

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