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Impact Feature Issue on Employment and Women With Disabilities

Trying Out College Life (sidebar)

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Wendy Parent Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities

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In summer 2008, 17 girls with intellectual disabilities from across Kansas got a taste of college life, and postsecondary employment possibilities, at the three-day Camp KU, held at Kansas University in Lawrence. Hosted by the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, the camp helped them think about their own futures by hearing from women with disabilities who are in a variety of professions, experiencing campus life, and exploring community sites such as the Science City Museum. When asked what they learned at Camp KU, the girls said the following:

  • "We learned how to use all our strength and skills."
  • "I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to and how to set goals."
  • "I've learned that a lot of jobs are open."
  • "If you work hard enough you can start and run your own business."
  • "Follow your dreams no matter whatever it may be."
  • "I learned that you can do anything even with disability."
  • "I learned to never give up or anything."

The girls at the camp were part of the Girls at Work project, an online, self-directed, education-to-employment curriculum project in Kansas funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Women's Educational Equity Act program.