Developmental Disabilities Won't Shut Door to College. Vanderbilt UCEDD program is first in Tennessee to offer courses, life skills

December 29, 2008

Like all of his friends, Matt Moore has been talking about going to college since he was a freshman in high school.

But there has never been a college program available in Tennessee for the Brentwood High School senior who has Down syndrome - until now.

Vanderbilt University has received a three-year grant to begin a post-secondary education program for students with developmental disabilities, the first of its kind in the state.

Officials at the university hope the program, aimed at providing not only continuing education but also career development, will pave the way for more like it across Tennessee, and will help shed stereotypes and raise awareness about the capabilities and talents of people with developmental disabilities.

The grant, which will give Vanderbilt $175,000 a year for three years, comes from the Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Vanderbilt will accept its first students in January 2010, through the university's Kennedy Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

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