UT's Informal Classes, aimed at Adults with IDDS, offer semester long continued educational opportunities at the University of Texas at Austin for Adults with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. This program aims to promote affordable life-long learning for adults with intellectual disabilities while providing an opportunity to connect socially with adult peers with and without intellectual disabilities on the University of Texas campus. Courses are offered through UT's informal classes program.
All registration and payment of tuition takes place through UT. Please address all questions to Jon-Pierce Shimomura at (512) 232-4137, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Texas at Austin Speech and Hearing Center provides services to individuals with communication problems and serves as a training site for students in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition, the Speech and Hearing Center hosts the UT Conversation Club. To learn more information about the UT Conversation club, call 512-471-3841 or email the course director, Jessica Franco, MD at email@example.com.
Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability. With a commitment to equity and excellence, Think College supports evidence-based and student centered research and practice by generating and sharing knowledge, guiding institutional change, informing public policy, and engaging with students, professionals and families.
2-1-1 Texas, a program of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, is committed to helping Texas citizens connect with the services they need. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or (877) 541-7905 and find more information about resources in your local community.
HHSC offers resources for employment and job coaching, as well as Medicaid waiver programs such as CLASS and HCS.
Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) provides services for people with disabilities to obtain training and employment. For job seekers, TWC offers career development information, job-search resources, training programs and, as appropriate, unemployment benefits. Intensive assistance is available to overcome barriers to employment. Use the TWC site's Programs & Services menu to find more detailed information about the programs and services TWC provides.
The Austin-based Disability Chamber of Commerce (DCC) was the first disability chamber of commerce in Texas. Its founder, Murphy Roland, is a Navy veteran who worked for several years with Veterans Affairs and later formed the DCC in Austin to assist people with disabilities with employment and self-employment while developing the skills to contribute to global innovation. The DCC maintains multiple resources on its website, including a job board.
This program provides individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities assistance finding and maintaining competitive, integrated employment. Participants are active partners in the employment process and provided with a level of support that meets their current skills, experience, and employment needs. Job coaches provide one-on-one support with learning job tasks, implementing accommodations to the worksite to promote independence, and work with the employer to establish long-term supports. The goal of this program is to help individuals find employment that is aligned with their unique strengths, abilities, priorities, and interests.
Disability Rights Texas offers a comprehensive list of resources (handouts and links) to people searching for information about employment rights as a person with a disability, working and Social Security benefits, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission, and much more.
UT Conversation Club
The Conversation Club is helpful to adults across a broad range of communication abilities – from non-verbal to verbal. The group meets on Wednesday Mornings 10-noon or Thursday Evenings 6-8pm. To contact the UT Conversation Club, call 512-471-3841
Texas Parent-to-Parent has a Transition Listserv and an Austin-area Listserv. It’s definitely worth getting on both of these and you’ll stay updated on all kinds of local opportunities.
DSACT offers adult social group activities and recreational programs. Just check our website!
There’s a group called “BIG” – Brookwood in Georgetown, that offers vocational opportunities and possibly other options.
ARC of the Capital Area offers day programs (mostly art) and ARCIL offers employment readiness programs.
The mission of Hodge House is to provide artists with developmental disabilities the opportunity to create and share their work with the community and to celebrate the power of art to enrich, inspire, and change lives. Art lessons are offered Monday-Thursday. Find more information in this brochure.
The Adventurers Academy of Lifelong Learning helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities connect with the community; develop greater lifelong independence; and achieve their full potential through social, educational, recreational, and vocational experiences.
Local School Districts
Some local school districts, including AISD and RRISD, will usually offer Transition Fairs annually that include a number of exhibitors for adult services/programs. It’s useful to go and get a good sense of what’s out there, you’ll just need to check each district’s special ed page on the websites to see when they’re offered. Georgetown ISD has a particularly good special ed parent page on the website, and Eanes ISD has some good resources listed as well, some of which relate to adults.
Some local churches have groups for adults with disabilities; you might want to check with your church. There’s a very good social program called “Capernaum” in Central Austin that meets weekly for 90 minutes during the school year; I’m not sure what age range for adults it covers or if there are other programs in the area outside Central Austin. firstname.lastname@example.org
CampCamp in Center Point offer summer camp options for adults. CampCamp also offers respite weekend options during the year occasionally.
The Nickerson Law Firm locally runs a number of workshops for parents of individuals with intellectual disabilities, some of which have exhibitors.
McBeth Center, as part of Austin Parks/Recreation, runs Special Olympics teams open to adults with IDD.
RESIDENTIAL and other living OPTIONS
Down Home Ranch offers a residential option for adults with special needs. The mission of Down Home Ranch is to build a rural, self-reliant community for adults with IDD, offering training, housing, recreation, and dignified employment, as well as opportunities for growth in mind, body, and spirit. Find out more about village life here.
Marbridge provides a unique spectrum of residential care, education, and training for adults with various cognitive challenges. Our unique Abilities Centered Training program was designed and developed by Marbridge to serve our residents. The program helps residents set their own goals, make their own choices, and achieve their full potential.
AIM is a small community of active adults with IDD who live independently, with appropriate supports, in a walkable, vibrant area of Central Texas. Inspired by the Mission Project in Kansas, AIM offers apartment living to adults who want to live independently with supports, while offering a close-knit community of peers.