WSU ROAR: Responsibility, Opportunities, Advocacy, and Respect
Washington State University ROAR (Responsibility Opportunities Advocacy and Respect) will be a two-year inclusive postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including autism. The program will provide individualized programs of study in education, social skills, and vocational training. WSU ROAR is designed to meet the requirements of a Comprehensive Transition Program, as described by the U.S. Dept. of Education. This program will create a two-year certificate program at WSU with cohorts of approximately 10 students per year with intellectual disabilities, and/or autism spectrum disorder.
Future ROAR Students
- Has completed high school (regular diploma or diploma of completion)
- 18 to 29 years of age
- Is not able to enroll and/or not likely to be successful in a “traditional” college or university program with accommodations
- Is diagnosed with an intellectual disability and/or autism
- ROAR courses designed specifically for their needs (life skills, digital literacy, career planning)
- WSU courses for audit credit focused on their personal and career interests
- Job training internships on campus and in the community
- Participation in traditional college activities on campus and with college-age mentors (e.g.,future teachers)
- A workforce that is better able to find and maintain jobs, decreasing reliance on public assistance.
- The development of soft-skills and job-specific skills for participants, increasing the long-term employability of the individuals.
- Increased opportunities for participants to develop the skills necessary to live as independently as possible.
- A better understanding of the unique job-related strengths and interests of participants through career development activities, resulting in better job matching & sustainability.
- Opportunities for engagement with typical peers, giving participants strong skills to be involved with long-term meaningful community participation in their home community.
- The development of self-determination skills, helping participants give a voice and be more self-directed for all of their life decisions.
WSU ROAR is part of an international trend of post-secondary education for young adults with I/DD, and addresses a significant social problem: inclusive education is widely available to children with disabilities at the K-12 level, but there are very few post-secondary educational opportunities existing for these students. WSU ROAR will be the only university-based program for students with ID/D in the Inland Northwest (Washington, Idaho, and Oregon).
For more information about other established programs: Think College
In order to create a sustainable and inclusive program, WSU ROAR is partnering with on campus resources including the WSU Office of the Provost, College of Education, Psychology Department, College of Engineering, Center for Civic Engagement, Diversity Education, and WSU Army ROTC. Community partners include Whitman County Developmental Services, Pullman School District, Educational Services District 101, Boost Collaborative, DisAbility Action Center and the Pullman Chamber of Commerce.