University of Vermont

University Communications

Conference to Explore Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

Exploring a wide range of educational and work opportunities for people with disabilities is the focus of the “Opening Doors to College and Careers” conference set for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 9 at the Davis Center.

The conference, sponsored by UVM’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion and UVM Think College Program, along with Vermont APSE, an organization that provides labor solutions for businesses and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, will explore possibilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in post-secondary education and customized employment and self-employment opportunities. Topic sessions will cover currently successful programs in Vermont with comments from students and employees on panels.

Sister Janice Ryan, a pioneer in Vermont special education and recipient of an honorary doctoral degree from UVM, will be the keynote speaker. Sister Ryan developed cutting edge curriculum in the field and eventually organized support for the successful passage of pioneering legislation in 1972. She later served for 17 years as president of Trinity College, where she helped start Enhance, one of the nation's first post-secondary education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also 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.

Online registration closes at midnight on May 6, with regular registration continuing at the conference. Learn more and register on the conference website.