University of Vermont

Opening Doors to College and Careers

Conference to be held May 9 at UVM Davis Center

Photo of Doors

Opening Doors to College and Careers is a one day conference sponsored by the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion at UVM, the Think College Program at UVM, and Vermont APSE: a membership organization providing labor solutions for business, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

The conference will explore opportunities for people with disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, to participate in inclusive community options, such as post-secondary education, University or College experiences, customized employment, self employment and more. Session topics will cover a range of current successful programs in Vermont, with comments by student and employee panels.

Sister Janice Ryan, a pioneer in Vermont special education, will be the keynote speaker. Sister Janice Ryan began teaching at Cathedral School in Burlington, Vermont. Her experiences with an after-school assignment working with children with developmental disabilities led her to a master’s degree in special education, curriculum development in the field, and eventually to organizing support for successful passage of mainstreaming legislation in 1972, the first such law in the country. As president of Trinity College, she was instrumental in starting Enhance: a post-secondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, one of the first of its kind in the country. In addition to teaching and leading Trinity College as president for 17 years, she has worked on projects to ban land mines and eliminate the death penalty, lobbied for mainstreaming special needs children, and served as Vermont’s deputy commissioner of corrections. She recently received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from the University of Vermont.

For session details and registration information go to the Think College website at: