September 18, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Arcadia Launches New Program for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Arcadia University is hosting an ice cream social to celebrate the launch of the Raising Expectations for Academic Learning (REAL) Certificate on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the second floor lounge of the Commons.

The REAL Certificate offers students with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism or Down syndrome the opportunity to participate in the same learning environments available to peers in an academic, vocational, and social inclusion-focused program. This two-year program includes auditing undergraduate classes, engaging in work experiences, and participating in social experiences as any other Arcadia student.

The REAL Certificate enrolled its first cohort of five students this semester. In launching this program, Arcadia joins a growing number of colleges and universities to offer opportunities for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities to continue their education alongside peers without disabilities.

The REAL Certificate is supported by a $50,000 donation from the D.R.E.A.M. Partnership (, which is working to develop a selection of postsecondary educational opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities in Pennsylvania that includes independent and supported dormitory options. At the ice cream social on Sept. 19, representatives from the D.R.E.A.M. Partnership will present the directors of the REAL Certificate with a check.

For more information, visit or contact the REAL Certificate co-directors, Dr. Clare Papay (papayc@arcadia.edu215-572-4047) or Dr. Adriana Gonzalez-Lopez (gonzalezlopeza@arcadia.edu215-572-2809).


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