The IDEAL program is a program here at Lipscomb University for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The students are between the ages of 18-26 and just about the nicest kids you’ll meet. Each one of these kids has a documented developmental or intellectual disability but that doesn’t stop them from coming to college.
Halle King, program director for IDEAL, says that “cognitive diversity is diversity also.”
There are so many different diversities out there and cognitive diversity is just one of them. These students just need people to love on them and treat them as they would any other student on campus and I think Lipscomb is doing a great job at that.
Many students have never seen a program like IDEAL, and yet they love it. The heart of the whole thing is in alignment with Lipscomb’s ideals. The students are getting the chance to have an education, make new friends, live on a college campus, and hopefully have a job by the time they’re out. King says her vision is to, “…empower students with disabilities to become adults with opportunities.”