Southeastern Postsecondary Education Alliance Holds Capacity Building Institute at Georgia State University (GA UCEDD/LEND)

April 29, 2015

The Center for Leadership in Disability (CLD) at the Georgia State University (GSU) School of Public Health hosted the inaugural Southeastern Postsecondary Education Alliance Capacity Building Institute on April 16 & 17, 2015. The event welcomed college & university personnel, students, and professionals to the GSU campus. There were 23 colleges & universities represented from eight Southeastern states.

Inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) is a national movement to support students with intellectual disabilities in attending college. The movement is based on the premise that disability does not diminish an individual's capacity to continue learning, to work and to contribute to their communities. Approximately 250 colleges and universities across the country have developed programs.

Cate Weir, Think College Program Director, opened the Capacity Building Institute with information about the national trends in IPSE. The opening keynote was given by Dr. George Benson, former president of College of Charleston, who spoke on breaking down barriers in higher education to achieve inclusion. Jim Thompson, the 2014-15 University of Georgia Student Government Association Vice President, spoke about how IPSE is a service to all students, not simply those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. To close out the two-day event, Claire Bible, an IPSE graduate, current student at Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin, and a self-advocate with Down syndrome, gave the final keynote address.

The Southeastern Postsecondary Education Alliance promotes resource development, collaboration, peer-to-peer education, and access to quality IPSE opportunities in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, & beyond.

The CLD is one of 67 University Centers for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities of the Administration on Community Living (USDHHS). It is housed within the Center for Healthy Development and the School of Public Health. The center serves as a bridge between university and community in support of effective practices that improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families. CLD educates current and future advocates and professionals, develops innovative supports and services, promotes systems change, conducts research, and disseminates information.