The Starkloff Disability Institute (SDI) is engaged in Disability Studies through the Disability Studies Initiative. We are training students, especially students with disabilities, for careers in the Field of Disability. We are doing this under collaboration with one of our university collaborators, Maryville University. Maryville initiated a new undergraduate degree program called Rehabilitation Services in Fall 2005 and invited us to teach courses under that degree. We have created a Certificate in Independent Living which is a specialty track that students can choose. SDI has designed 7 courses that comprise this specialization.
Courses deal with the history of disability, including how early societies have treated people with disabilities down through the ages. There are courses on disability rights history; public policy development pertaining to disability, an entry level vocational rehabilitation course, communication with disabled people designing an independent living plan; history of Independent Living; an advocacy course and IL service delivery course.
Students choosing the Independent Living track will find jobs at Independent Living Centers (ILCs) all over the nation. They will be ready to hit the ground running at ILCs. We have negotiated an agreement for Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) to pay tuition for disabled students who have taken their general education courses at a community college to transfers to Maryville for their next two years of training and to take advantage of this specialty track.
VR is also willing to help our staff promote this educational/job training opportunity throughout the state agency offices. For brief descriptions of this program, consult the Maryville University website.