H’art students have the opportunity to attend classes at on campus thanks to a voluntary arrangement with the Faculty of Education at Queen's University through the H'art School Inclusive Post Secondary Education Initiative (IPSE). Participants work towards 5-year Certificate of Learning. Participants are placed in inclusive classes on campus based on their own personal interests and goals. Working within their abilities students should expect full participation, class presentations, assignments, homework, social activities, and more.
How does it work?
Students work hard at H’art to build the literacy and social skills they need to take part in the program. Sometimes they work for years to get ready. We then assess them for program suitability and they attend orientation sessions in the fall.Volunteer instructors (just like you) agree to open their classrooms. Then, we match students with courses based on interest and abilities. Student’s transition onto campus in the winter term.
There, they participate alongside students who attend Queen's and work towards a certificate reflecting their class participation. In between classes, they return to H’art School for homework help and some social support. For more help, we pair them with a buddy from the student-run STEP Club.
That’s it! But it means so much.
Thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding, adults with intellectual disabilities can benefit from the chance to attend classes offered through a voluntary arrangement with the Faculty of Education at Queen's University at no cost.
Every year in Ontario, at least 1,000 people with an intellectual disability leave high school when they turn 21. In most places, there is no path to post secondary education.
Karen has attended classes such as Theatre for Young People alongside post-secondary students through the program. “I feel happy,” said Karen. “I felt full of energy. I’m learning lots about me. This is a big step for me. I was surprised at what I could do.”
Learning to be the change
In 2009, the Social Transition and Education Program (STEP) organization was formed. This is a Queen's student-led club with a mission to help students with intellectual disability integrate into the Queen’s community. Currently, young adults participating in the IPSE Program know very little about the post-secondary environment because they do not have access to the various social resources that can introduce and welcome them into the school’s rich and diverse campus. STEP works to provide the support and resources needed to make our IPSE students feel at home while on campus. Based on their interests and personal profiles, STEP pairs IPSE students with experienced full-time students in hopes of making the environment more accessible and welcoming. Students explore the community, participate in social and academic events, and join clubs and organizations. Their buddies also assist them with their school work or provide advice on any issues they may be experiencing. H'art School and STEP require members to have completed reference checks and police background checks.
Club Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org