By Kimberley Haas Union Leader Correspondent

Editor’s Note: Kimberley Haas is a Union Leader correspondent who has written about SONH many times. This article is posted with her permission and the permission of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

The Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire is tackling the problem of access to post-secondary education for young adults with intellectual disabilities and has been awarded a $2.5 million grant.

“Opportunities for jobs and careers often come through post-secondary training and education experiences. For many students with ID, post-secondary opportunities are not extended to or expected of them. Today, that experience is changing,” said Director Kelly Nye-Lengerman in a statement.

The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. It will be used over the next five years to help develop a sustainable model to enroll and support up to 50 students with intellectual disabilities at UNH.

The hope is that all colleges in New Hampshire will eventually be able to offer similar programs for students with intellectual disabilities.

“The idea is we incubate at UNH, focus on building the model and getting it financially sustainable and working well for the students, so that everyone is confident in the model, but we also want to build capacity at other higher ed institutions in New Hampshire,” said Tobey Partch-Davies, principal investigator for the Granite State Transition Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.