We are going to begin this story by introducing you to Brian. Brian, by the way, happens to have Down syndrome; yet that does not define who he is, nor does it define how he is planning to live his life. As we write this letter, Brian is making plans to attend a post-secondary program on an Indiana college campus; a program designed for young people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Throughout the United States there are now over 100 colleges and universities that offer programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Only one of them is located in Indiana. We are inviting you to be a part of breaking ground in Indiana where, even a modified college experience will be a rewarding life enriching experience for those who chose it. Through efforts of the Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition, and relationships that have been established with local universities, a limited number of Indiana students with disabilities were able to begin a college experience in the Fall of 2011.
Here is where you come in….
You can help fundamentally alter the way individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are viewed and accepted in our society. Your donation is not meant to pay for one individual to go to college, it is to support process change. Your financial support will help to promote postsecondary education programs in more Indiana colleges and universities. This is an opportunity to help insure that all the Brian’s in Indiana will be seen as the valuable contributing citizens that they are in our society by showing the world the value of college for everyone.
Down Syndrome Indiana believes that this is such an important initiative in our state that we have committed $25,000 in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 to support this program. Can we count on you to help to raise these funds? I hope so.
Now meet Kate:
Brian’s mother, Kate, was part of starting the post-secondary movement in Indiana. She didn’t think it was acceptable for Brian not to have this option as he began exploring life after high school. Kate, along with several others, took action! In honor of Kate’s commitment not only to her son but also to the many individuals with Down syndrome who dream of pursuing a college experience, we are calling this campaign – Kate’s Campaign.
How will the money be used?
I am so glad you asked. In the coming years, Down Syndrome Indiana will be supporting and offering a variety of activities where you can learn more about the exciting work of this initiative. We will be setting up a website, dedicated to postsecondary education in Indiana, where people can begin to imagine the possibilities, ask questions, give feedback, check out programs and most of all get inspired! Together, we will be helping people to imagine what at one time was thought of as impossible.
We all dream of a world where people with Down syndrome or any disability will be accepted and included everywhere. Let’s make that dream come true and at the same time help Kate realize her dream for Brian by supporting Down Syndrome Indiana’s involvement in the Indiana Postsecondary Education Coalition.