Empowering Individuals with Disabilities for College Inclusion through Innovative Mentorships and Technologies

Dr. James P. Lawler, Professor of Technology, Pace University, Hope Goldfard This presentation focuses on a college inclusion program at Pace University for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities at AHRC New York City. The program offers computer science courses for individuals with disabilities at the non-profit organization to learn new personal and professional skills in an inclusive setting with the highest standards. The program is one in which the individuals with disabilities are mentored by service-learning students of the university. Through personalized I-pad and smart tablet and as required speech technologies, these individuals are furnished with state-of-the-art tools to be fully involved on projects in the semesters with other students of the university. This presentation highlights how the program promotes self-advocacy, including self-discovery and self-determination, and promotes employment possibilities for these individuals at AHRC New York City and non-profit opportunities for the service-learning students of the university. Throughout this presentation, the presenters will review their methodology for initiating college inclusion at the university. They will especially review the power of the self-learning technologies and tools. They will share their methodology for involving higher-functioning individuals with disabilities not only in a learning program, but also in programs of recreation and sociality at the university. They will further share their practices for involving service-learning students in the program. Lastly, the presenters will share their processes for involving related services and technologies to support these individuals at the university. This presentation will benefit attendees considering an expanded college inclusion program for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The problems encountered by the presenters in introducing the program at the university will be highlighted at this presentation. Those at the presentation will be however provided with an optimal solution strategy. They will be provided with resource sources and techniques to support such a strategy. Overall, this presentation will be beneficial to attendees desiring to pursue a productive college inclusion strategy for individuals with disabilities through state-of-the-art technological trends. Bio Dr. James P. Lawler Dr. James P. Lawler, D.P.S., is Professor of Disability Studies, Information Technology and Service-Learning at the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems of Pace University in New York City.  Dr. Lawler is pioneering inclusion programs in which individuals with disabilities from AHRC New York City are being mentored in courses of special study by service-learning students of the university.  Professor Lawler is a recipient of the national Jefferson Award for Community Service, recognizing the impacts of his programs involving cultural person-centered storytelling technologies with young adults with disabilities in the city. Hope Goldfard Hope Goldfard, Pace Alumni and Community Supports Professional at AHRC NYC.  In 2010, Hope enrolled in Professor Lawler’s CIS 102W Web Design for Nonprofit Organizations with AHRC NYC in which she and her classmates served as mentors to high school students and young adults in computer literacy, life planning and resume preparation skills.  Since the conclusion of the course, she has continued her involvement with the organization and has been “an instrument of change” and has played a “pivotal role” in partnering with the young adults in courses and programs of Dr. Lawler’s that are piloting their inclusion in the campus life of Pace University.  Hope Goldfard is a recipient of the Melissa Riggio Higher Education Scholarship, for her ongoing efforts on behalf of individuals affiliated with AHRC Click here to go back