Brenda Barrio was this week’s guest speaker.  She spoke about the WSU Roar program, which is post secondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
 
She began brainstorming Roar two years ago, and is hoping to kick off in 2018. K-12 education for children with disabilities is widely available, but there are few opportunities for children when they finish. This limits opportunity for employment, which puts further strain on families that support young people in the area.  Roar will be the first fully inclusive program in Northern ID and Eastern WA.
 
Washington is only at 54.6% graduation rate for students with disabilities. Even though they complete most classes, because they can’t or don’t get through standardized testing or other diploma related requirements, they don’t “officially” graduate.  People with disabilities have a 65% unemployment rate, while people without are at 17%. 
 
Roar will be a two-year inclusive postsecondary program. Very specific classes to will be available to enhance employment opportunities. It will be represented by 25% Roar classes, 25% WSU classes, 25% internship, and 25% extracurricular activities. They will likely working together with Boost to seek employment.
 
Employment and inclusion in the community will be the main two goals of Roar. Also they will work to assist them to live as independently as possible, improving social skills, giving them a voice to become more self-directed.