For Kids, Education, Jobs & Independence

Education

In 1982, a woman with grown and near grown children was reading a Denver, Colorado newspaper and spotted an ad of a little boy, in another state, being solicited for adoption. Compelled by the boy’s name and mottled picture, she called the number listed in the ad. In no time, a little 5 year old boy appeared at the Stapleton Airport in Colorado, in a striped shirt, high-water corduroy pants, and pop-bottle thick glasses, wearily holding the hand of the case worker who had lost him in the airport after a short elevator escapade. He had only a small cardboard box of possessions to his name. The woman, with blessings from her husband and children, adopted the little boy whom they were told was legally blind, severely retarded and emotionally disturbed, and would be able to do little more than feed himself in his lifetime – he was autistic. The little boy could not speak any opposition in his defense as he could only grunt, scream and cry when dropped off with a family of strangers …..

Today, this middle-aged man is a symbol of triumph. He found a loving family in that woman, her husband and her children. He received much needed medical care, proper nutrition, and schooling, but above all he received love, patience, understanding, and recognition and support of his potential. Through the tireless efforts of his adoptive mother, the little boy broke barriers rising through the oppression of an education system that did not understand persons with special educational or health care needs to become the first person in the MRSH (Mentally Retarded Severely Handicap) Program at his school to graduate with a high school diploma - and he graduated chronologically on time. His achievement led to others being graduated that year and thereafter. His mother founded the KEJI Parent Support Group to assure that persons with special needs could graduate high school. Although a high school graduate (who can hold an intelligent conversation with the best of us), the young man was denied a college education. Now a middle aged man, he generally holds 2 jobs and lives in his own apartment with assistance from a great neighborhood and an agency that oversees his care. He travels around town independently and socializes. He has yet to receive a college education. But YOU CAN.


WE DID

(Stories of Graduation)

Tell us your story about graduation triumph and we'll post it here. Here's an example:

DEANNA

TEMPLE, PhD

Click here to find out more about Temple Grandin, "Innovator. Author. Activist. Autistic." and the gains she has made toward the better understanding of autism.

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

Keep abreast of policies and issues concerning our nation's education:

White HouseUS Department of Education

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

Click here to find out the new college financial aid limits that affect Supplemental Security Income (SSI/Social Security benefits) eligibility. GET EDUCATED!



COLLEGE BOUND QUICK TIPS


Know the credits you need for graduation. Keep up with graduation credits starting your freshman year in high school.

Get core class (math, language arts, social studies, science) completed as soon as possible.

Be sure any mandatory credit classes (health, civics, US history) are completed no later than your junior year.

Make sure all accommodations are listed accurately in your IEP and/or 504.

Make sure you receive a hard copy of your senior year exit/transistion IEP before graduation and confirm all your accommodations are listed accurately and completely - you will need this to get accommodations in college.

Know your GPA (grade point average) but don't stress over it. Remember, once you get a college transcript, your high school grades are no longer used and you become eligible for scholarships based off your college transcript.

Keep a record (with signatures where possible) of all your community service/volunteer and extracurricular activities starting as early as middle school but definitely by freshman year in high school. Colleges look at this to determine how well-rounded you are and can aid in getting a college admissions acceptance.



AVAILABLE NOW

KEJI currently offers two types of scholarships as follows:

  1. The Clay Brown Academic Scholarship for persons with developmental, mental or physical challenges who are interested in higher education or furthering their educational goals.
  2. The Davenport Achievement Scholarship for persons who are interested in a career focused on serving community members who carry disability labels.

Deadline for all scholarship applications is the 3rd week in May annually and applications must be postmarked no later than May 18th. Request a scholarship application HERE.


To donate or for more information on any of these programs, please click on the Contact Us page.

Education Resource Information

Senate Bill 08-130: Innovation Plans (http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2008a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/29D0572E004723E68725739C00534FFE?Open&file=130_01.pdf )

A new bill has been introduced to address Colorado's continued efforts to improve education achievement. Follow the link for more information.

New CO Rules For The Exceptional Children's Educational Act (ECEA) (http://www.cde.state.co.us/gt/lawsregs.htm )

This is a 106 page document in PDF format containing the Colorado Code of Regulations 301-8 as stated "the purpose of these Rules is to provide the administrative framework for services offered to students pursuant to the terms of the Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA)."

Your Direct Link To The Colorado Department of Education Website On Specific Education Policy (http://www.cde.state.co.us/spedlaw )

Click on this link to read the current laws guiding special education as well as new laws awaiting mandate.