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Thursday, May 9, 2013

MAC Call to Action: Ask Your State Senator to Support ICE!

From Massachusetts Advocates for Children

SUPPORT THE TRANSITION NEEDS OF YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES

CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR NOW
ASK THEM TO SUPPORT AN INCREASE IN

Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment - Budget Line Item 7009-9600

The Senate is now working on its state budget for this year. Please contact your senator and urge them to support the line item and allocate $960,000 for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrolment program.

PLEASE CALL NOW!

What you can do:
  • Call or e-mail your Senator and ask them to provide $960,000 for the Inclusive Concurrent Enrolment line item (7009-9600).
  • To find your senator go to www.wheredoivotema.com
  • Share personal experiences you may have had with the ICE program.
  • Ask friends or relatives to call too.
Let them know:

 - This line item will support existing and new partnerships between high schools and public institutions of higher education to offer students with severe disabilities, ages 18-22, the opportunity to participate in inclusive college courses with necessary services and supports.

- The House budget provides $700,000. Additional funding is necessary to support students in new partnerships that received planning grants, as well as develop plans to include students in the resident life of the college, with necessary supports and services to support inclusive dormitory living.

The proven success of the program has greatly increased demand for participation. The Commonwealth's Autism Commission, established by the legislature, recognized the importance of the ICE program, and recommended expanding the model to all colleges in the state. 

All too frequently, public school options for students with severe disabilities, ages 18-22, are limited to segregated special education programs, isolated from the community and their peers.

With this program, students with severe disabilities are able to continue to participate with chronologically age appropriate peers in public college settings, rather than face increasing isolation.

This Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment program increases school and work success for students with severe disabilities, the majority who has not passed MCAS—a vulnerable group of students who too often are left behind as others graduate. 

For additional information, please contact Johanne Pino at jpino@massadvocates.org, or 617-357-8431, x234.   

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