April 27, 2014

EducationThe New York Institute of Technology has three distinct programs geared towards helping students with disabilities achieve academic, vocational, and life skills. All of the programs have a residential component, as they are designed to help people adjust to life at NYIT or on another college campus. A team of advisors such as a nurse practitioner, financial advisor, independent living advisor, resident assistant, and other professionals act as a support network for each individual depending on the specific needs.

The Introduction to Independence course is a 7 week program for ages 16 and older. Students work 4 hours a day for 4 days a week and received a stipend for their work. Every Friday is dedicated specifically to travel training. Students learn how to use different types of public transportation as they navigate through the city of Manhattan. This program is a wonderful introductory course to living away from home in a community setting.

Some students who attend the Introduction to Independence course matriculate into the Vocation Independence Program (VIP). The VIP program is one of the few vocation programs which offers a residential aspect. It is also one of the two in New England approved as a Comprehensive Transition and Post-secondary (CTP) program by the U.S. Department of Education. This program for students 18 and older focuses on vocational skills, independence skills, and social skills to help provide the tools for people to live independently. Student have an option to either focus on vocational skills or do a pre-degree track with a goal to enter a degree earning program.

The newest program is called the Associate Degree Support Program. Students apply directly to NYIT and are also eligible to receive the same supports as in the other two programs. Students in this program can earn an associate degree in 3 years instead of 2 years while still receiving independent living and social skills supports. All of the programs use research based intervention techniques to help the students. There is also a fitness program attached to the other programs to promote overall health.

A more indepth article is available in this month’s ASDigest.


About the author 

Brigid Rankowski

Brigid graduated with a BA from Cornell College and is currently working on her Masters from Nova Southeastern University. She works as a teaching assistant, a Direct Support Professional, writer, and is in the award-winning vaudeville troupe The Dark Follies. She is also an international presenter on Autism Spectrum Disorders. She is a self-advocate and speaks about the strengths of Autism as well as viewing challenges from a positive perspective.

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