CALL FOR PROPOSALS: 4th Annual SEPSEA Conference

The CALL FOR PROPOSALS is now open for the 4th Annual SEPSEA Conference to be held April 19 & 20, 2018 in Memphis, TN. The theme this year is Students with IDD Have a Dream: Success in College and Beyond. The deadline for proposals is January 30, 2018.

The Southeastern Postsecondary Education Alliance (SEPSEA) seeks compelling presentations that inform inclusive postsecondary education (IPSE) professionals and students about best practices, research, and other activities of interest to the IPSE programs in the Southeast.

There will be 4 strands for presentations: Innovative Ideas, Program Development, Administration, and Transition to College.

Proposals may be submitted: HERE


New webinar provides strategies for educating policymakers about IHE and employment

Lobbying, Educating, Advocating: What to Do, Where you Are, To Educate People Around You

Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 2-3 pm CST

State and local policymakers are looking for partners, solutions, and ways to stretch their dollars. Perhaps most importantly, they are looking for ways simply to make life better for their citizens. You have some of that information! It’s important to share the benefits of inclusive higher education, including employment, with state policymakers. This Webinar will look at what you can and cannot do, how to do it, who to approach and how to say it. Templates and tools will be shared. Whether you are an experienced advocate or a beginner, there is something here for you. Join AUCD’s Denise Rozell, J.D.

To register, click here.

Think College ( provides training that disseminates research and promising practices related to postsecondary education for students with intellectual disability, including webinars, conference presentations, capacity-building institutes and research summits.


New Think College webinar features a Tennessee mom!

#includemeincollege: How One Girl’s Dream of College Changed Others’ Ways of Thinking is a new webinar offered December 12 by the Think College National Coordinating Center. Pull out your Tennessee pride when you learn that the presenter is a mom of a new Next Steps at Vanderbilt student!

Blogger, advocate, and self-designated supermom, Jennifer Farmer, will tell the story of how her daughter Chloe decided she wanted to go college and all the things that happened to help Chloe achieve that goal. Jennifer will share tips and strategies to communicate effectively with high school staff, set measurable goals for your student or child, and how to start the college search itself. Participants will learn how to work with high school educators and staff to do self-determined, self-directed post-secondary planning; set specific goals related to college and work towards achieving them; and conduct a personalized college search.

Join the conversation on Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4-5 pm ET.

Registration is required. CLICK HERE to register.


Union Edge students welcomed by Panhellenic groups on campus

Four women who are students in the Union EDGE Program chose to go through the recruitment process of the Panhellenic groups on campus. All four women have received bids to join. EDGE Program staff and faculty thank the women of Chi Omega, Kappa Delta, and Zeta Tau Alpha for their desire to be progressive in thinking about people with disabilities. Here’s to more friends!

You can read more about this in the Union EDGE September newsletter.


Summer internships at the TN Department of Economic and Community Development

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Next Steps at Vanderbilt student Peach Chinratanalab (pictured: 1st row) and IDEAL at Lipscomb University student Brittenee Whitelow (pictured: 2nd row, right) are interning this summer in the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Both students were present when Governor Haslam signed legislation sponsored by Sen. Becky Massey and Rep. Martin Daniel that adds “businesses owned by persons with disabilities” to the Tennessee Minority-Owned, Woman-Owned and Small Business Procurement and Contracting Act; requires that the annual report made by the chief procurement officer concerning the awarding of purchases to minority-owned business, woman-owned business, service-disabled veteran-owned business, or small business and the total value of awards made also include the total dollar amount of purchases awarded to all businesses in this state.


Start-Up Grant to Spur New IHE Programs in TN for Students with Intellectual Disabilities

Next Steps at Vanderbilt University recently received a Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities (TPSID) award from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education to grow the program and to support other campuses in Tennessee to launch their own programs. Next Steps is offering a start-up grant to increase the number of inclusive higher education programs serving students with intellectual disability in Tennessee. THey are awarding two grants (up to $20,000 each) to two- or four-year colleges or universities in the state that are committed to launching new programs on their campuses. These grants are intended to support the strategic planning and partnerships that will lead to the inclusion of students with intellectual disability in classrooms and campus life.

The grant submission deadline is July 15, 2017. The full grant application may be found HERE.