Ruby’s Rainbow 2017 Scholarship Application Open!

Ruby’s Rainbow grants scholarships to students with Down syndrome (18 year of age and up) seeking postsecondary education or enrichment classes. The mission of Ruby’s Rainbow is to help students achieve their dreams of higher education and independence, while showing the world just how cool and capable they truly are.

Ruby’s Rainbow Scholarships are between $1,000 and $5,000 per awarded individual. The scholarship Deadline is April, 28th 2017.

To apply, Click Here


Submission Deadline for SEPSEA Conference is January 15th!

The Southeastern Postsecondary Education Alliance (SEPSEA), held June 26-27, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee seeks compelling presentations that inform inclusive higher education (IHE) professionals, students, family members, and other community partners about best practices, research, and other activities of interest to current and future IHE programs in the southeast.

The submission deadline is January 15, 2017. CLICK HERE to submit a proposal.


Think College Announces 2016-17 Webinar Series


Think College, a project of the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, has announced and opened registration for it’s 2016-17 webinar series. Topics focus on inclusive academic access, financial planning for college, employment supports, and higher education & disability policy.

Registration is FREE, and includes live participation as well as a link to the recorded webinar for use after the event. For more information on each webinar and to register, CLICK HERE.


TigerLIFE/Memphis Institute on Disability Offer Inclusive Higher Education Summit

The University of Memphis Institute on Disability will offer an HBCU Summit November 13 – 14, 2016. Alabama A&M University is hosting the Summit in Huntsville, Alabama. This Summit will provide information on interdisciplinary postsecondary education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

For more information, contact Maurice Williams, or download the Summit flyer HERE.


Next Steps Ambassadore Program Inducted Into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame


Haley Kellar (Next Steps graduate) and Alyssa Bernstein (VU graduate & former Ambassadore) were in New York City this week to represent the Next Steps Ambassadore Organization as they were inducted into the 2016 Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established by the National Disability Mentoring Coalition to honor those individuals who are making a significant difference in the lives of youth and adults with disabilities through mentoring and to raise awareness about the importance of mentoring for individuals with disabilities.

Congratulations to all of the Ambassadores who have mentored Next Steps at Vanderbilt students and to all of those who will mentor in the years ahead!

You can read more on the honor HERE.


Vanderbilt to Host 3rd Annual Southeastern Inclusive Postsecondary Education Conference and Capacity Building Institute

Vanderbilt University is slated to host the 3rd Annual Southeastern Inclusive Postsecondary Education Conference and Capacity Building Institute June 26-27, 2017. The event brings together students, family members, educators, service providers, and policy makers for two days of sharing ideas, professional development, and share thoughts and strategies about inclusive postsecondary education opportunities in Southeastern colleges and universities.

For more information, click here.


2017 AHEAD Call for Proposals: Access in Higher Education

Equity and Excellence: Access in Higher Education Conference

The Association on Higher Education And Disability welcomes proposals for its 40th annual conference to be held in Orlando Florida, July 17-22, 2017. AHEAD provides opportunities for professional development to those involved in promoting equitable postsecondary experiences for students with disabilities and fostering the development of usable, sustainable, and inclusive higher education environments. The conference draws approximately 1,500 participants from around the world, including disability resources professionals, ADA coordinators, student affairs personnel, diversity officers, faculty, instructional staff, and students.

Submission Deadline: November 8, 2016

For more information, visit the Conference Website.


Apply for a Mini-Grant to Expand Inclusive Higher Education in Tennessee


Through a recent grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities), Next Steps at Vanderbilt University (check out the new website!) received funding to both grow the Vanderbilt program and support other campuses in Tennessee to explore launching their own program.

Recipients of a community conversation mini-grant will commit to holding one event, analyzing the ideas generated by attendees, and forming a team committed to moving forward on the best ideas. The Next Steps at Vanderbilt team will support mini-grant recipients in planning and carrying out their community conversation event, as well make technical assistance available as campuses move forward in exploring this possibility.

With more than 17,000 students with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in Tennessee, we see great need for new and high-quality options for students living in all corners of the state. For more information on the mini-grants, or to learn more about the Community Conversation model, visit the TennesseeWorks website.


TN PSE Program Directors at the TPSIDS/AHEAD Meeting

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Think College and representatives from TPSID programs from across the U.S. met at the 39th Conference of the Association on Higher Education and Disability¬†in Indianapolis July 11-16. Directors from Tennessee’s postsecondary education programs were on hand to talk about the effective partnership of the TN Inclusive Higher Education Alliance. The conference provided opportunities to learn, share, and connect with experts in the field of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and postsecondary education.