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Tennessee’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program Announces Support of Students in PSE Programs

In a memorandum shared July 10, 2014, Vocational Rehabilitation Program Director, Yovancha H. Lewis-Brown, announced that effective July 1, support will be provided for VR eligible students participating in Postsecondary Education Programs in Tennessee.

These programs are currently:

  • University of Memphis- TigerLife
  • Vanderbilt University- NextSteps
  • Lipscomb University- IDEAL
  • University of Tennessee- FUTURE

The PSE Programs focus on postsecondary options for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities at Colleges and Universities. These programs are another option to assist students in the transition from school to work.

This is a pilot program for VR, and for this initial year the amount authorized by VR will be a flat rate of $2400.00 per student.

Prior to the beginning of each semester, the school’s program staff, the student and the VR Counselor will discuss recommendations. The recommendations will be based on observations and assessments. Recommendations should include activities that:

  • Assist the individual to acquire personal and work habits, skills and techniques that will enable functioning in a formal training or employment setting;
  • Develop or increase work tolerance; or
  • Orient the individual to the world of work.

The amount that VR will authorize per semester is $2400.00

The VR Counselor will ensure this service in added to the IPE prior to the beginning of the program. The client and VR counselor will agree that this is a needed service. An authorization will be sent to the school stating the amount authorized.

Lewis-Brown expressed excitement for the opportunity to provide these services to the individuals VR serves.

First and Second year Tennessee Students With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Receive Lottery Scholarships

Starting in the 2013-2014 academic year, the Tennessee STEP UP Scholarship was awarded to eligible students enrolled in one of the four postsecondary
education programs for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Tennessee. Scholarship recipients receive $4,000 per year for a maximum of two years.

To be eligible, a student must be a Tennessee resident, graduate high school in his or her own Individual Education Program, and be admitted to and enroll in an eligible postsecondary institution no later than 16 months after graduation.The scholarship was originally awarded to students who were starting their first year with the programs in 2013. On June 2, Governor Bill Haslam signed legislation that amended the Tennessee code to retroactively award the scholarships to enrolled and eligible second year students who would have received the award had it been in effect for the 2012-2013 academic year.

For more information, click here.

6/3/2014 Governor Bill Haslam signs the STEP Up Scholarship bill

TigerLIFE in the NEWS!

In this Local Memphis news story, faculty and students at TigerLIFE beautifully illustrate the importance of integration in education and the effectiveness of postsecondary education on the lives of students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Watch the story here.

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