ACE-IT in College

Inclusive College Experience for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

In the News

Students with disabilities ACE-IT at VCU - VCU places students with disabilities in standard classes
February 4, 2014 BY KARIN KAPSIDELIS Richmond Times-Dispatch

Kathryn Anderson sums up her disability this way:

"I can learn what a normal person can learn. It just takes me a little bit longer to learn it."

"I can learn what a normal person can learn. It just takes me a little bit longer to learn it."

Kathryn Anderson, ACE-IT graduate

In December, Anderson reached a milestone not just for her own education but also for the way in which Virginia Commonwealth University provides academic access to students with intellectual disabilities.

Anderson, 24, and Eddie Lee Lewis, 21, became the first two students to complete a 30-month, five-semester certificate program through VCU’s School of Education called ACE-IT in College.

VCU is one of 27 universities, and the only one in Virginia, awarded a U.S. Department of Education grant in 2010 to explore postsecondary education opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities.

Through the five-year, $2 million demonstration grant, students who in the past might have been steered to segregated programs instead attend classes with other VCU students.

Some of Anderson's classmates knew she had a disability, she said. "Some of them didn't know. It really didn’t make a big difference for those who did know. They treated me the same."

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